Tips to keep your heart healthy during American Heart Month

Heart disease claims the lives of 2,200 people each day—making it the leading killer of Americans. That is why during February, American Heart Month, people are encouraged to take steps to improve their heart health.

Studies have shown that 80 percent of cardiovascular disease may be preventable with education and action. Simple lifestyle changes can make a big impact when it comes to heart health. Show your heart some love by practicing these three tips:

  • Stop smoking–One year after you quit, you cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent.
  • Get active–Walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Eat smart–Adding salmon, nuts, berries and oats—a few of the heart “superfoods”—may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Another way to fight heart disease is to be aware of the symptoms of heart attack and stroke:

Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest. Most often, it starts slowly with mild pain or discomfort.

Shortness of breath. This can occur with or without chest discomfort and may involve coughing or wheezing.

Other possible signs of a heart attack or stroke may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Support heart health awareness by wearing red on Friday, Feb. 14. Visit the American Heart Association webpage at to learn more.

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