February Is American Heart Month

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bobbiBy Bobbi Pavlak, Total Extreme Fitness

February is American Heart Month and is time to battle cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading death for men and women in the United States. You are at risk if you are a woman 55 or older, a man 45 or older, or a person with a family history of heart disease. Heart disease can be prevented by living a healthier lifestyle.

Watch your weight

Get active -For the best overall health benefits, experts recommend 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three to more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching twice a week. Like all muscles, the heart becomes stronger as a result of exercise, so it can pump blood through the body with every beat.

Eat healthy-watch portion sizes; eat lean meats and poultry without skin; cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure-cut back on foods with hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet

Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke

If you consume alcohol, drink only in moderation

Manage stress

Natural supplementation-In an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the effects of omega-3 fish oil supplementation was shown to be beneficial for healthy cognitive and cardiac functioning. Clinical trials have shown that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids may help maintain normal levels of triglycerides and cholesterol, support healthy pressure and promote normal platelet activity.

Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, exercising regularly and taking the right supplements can all contribute to promoting good cardiovascular health.