Show your love - take care of your heart

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February is known as the month of love.

From flowers, jewelry, candy and other goodies for one’s sweetheart, many people will be showing their love on Valentine’s Day next Tuesday, Feb. 14.

While it is important to show your significant other how much you love them, you should also take a few simple steps to take care of yourself.

This month is also American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart disease and how to prevent it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States, resulting in one in four deaths annually.

Don’t let this news put a damper on your day. You see, heart disease can be prevented if you make healthy choices and manage health conditions.

What can you do to lower your risk?

-Watch your weight.

-Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.

-Control your cholesterol and blood pressure and be sure to have both checked regularly, as 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure and many people do not know they have it.

-If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. (The American Heart Association recommends no more than half to one a day.)

-Eat healthy. Adopt a diet low in salt, saturated and trans fats and high in unsaturated fats (fish, avocado, etc.).

-Avoid stress.

-Get active—the American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.

-Know and review your risk factors with a trusted physician.

Do your part to take care of your heart!