February is the month for Cupid, valentines, and celebrating American Heart Month. There are many habits you can do every day to benefit your heart. Your heart is a large muscle that pumps blood through your body to all of the cells that need oxygen and nutrients. Healthy heart habits are essential to living a healthy and happy life.
- Good nutrition: get your full servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and low-fat dairy; use MyPlate to plan your heart-healthy diet.
- Reduce fats and oils in your diet: limiting saturated and trans fats in your diet will reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Physical activity: get your heart pumping for at least 30 minutes a day. Make time to exercise by fitting it in around other activities. Try parking in the back of the lot and walking to your shopping destination, or just walking to enjoy the scenery in your neighborhood
- Weight management: eating healthy and exercising regularly can help you keep your weight under control and reduce stress on your heart.
- Stress management: organize your life to reduce stress and stay on top of tasks; find fun outlets to de-stress yourself.
- Share your thoughts and feelings: talking with friends and family can reduce stress and boost your mood.
- Slow down and take time to laugh: making time for yourself and things you love will reduce your stress.
- Quit smoking: smoking puts unnecessary stress on your heart; the sooner you quit, the sooner your heart gets back into the healthy zone.
- Get plenty of sleep; at least 7 hours of quality sleep will lower your risk for heart disease.
St. Petersburg General Hospital is holding an event to help you learn more about healthy heart habits. Join us for Preventing Heart Disease and Stroke, presented by Suzanne Johnson, DO, Board Certified Family Practice. The event will be held Thursday, February 16, from 12:00 to 1:00 pm at the YMCA Jim & Heather Gills, 3200 1st Avenue South, St Petersburg, FL 33712. The event is free, but register online to reserve your space.
For more information about protecting your heart health, call Consult-A-Nurse at 1-888-741-5122. Celebrate your heart every month with healthy habits!