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The original item was published from 2/14/2018 1:05:41 PM to 2/14/2018 1:10:23 PM.

News Flash

Health Department News

Posted on: February 14, 2018

[ARCHIVED] February is American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month!

According to the American Heart Association, 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 38 seconds. In Lake County, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 25 percent of deaths.

Caring for your heart through a healthy diet and regular physical activity is the best way to prevent heart disease. It is also important to see your primary care physician every year, so you are aware of your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. For an appointment with a Health Department provider, call (847) 377-8800.

Follow these seven tips for keeping your heart healthy from the American Heart Association website:

  1. Get active
    Physical activity every day can greatly improve your overall health and make you feel better. It can reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Doctors suggest at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day five times a week for adults. Children need 60 minutes a day, every day.

  2. Control cholesterol
    Controlling cholesterol can help arteries remain free of blockages. When you have too much “bad cholesterol,” known as LDL, it can lead to plaque forming in veins and arteries. That can result in heart disease and stroke. Try to control cholesterol by exercising and by avoiding or reducing consumption of animal products high in saturated fat, such as beef, pork, cream and butter. Certain foods may help lower cholesterol: whole- and multi-grain products such as bran and oats; fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna; and fruits, vegetables and certain nuts such as walnuts and almonds.

  3. Eat better
    A healthy eating plan keeps you energized and helps your body fight diseases. Fruits and vegetables are part of a nutritious food plan, as are low-fat and fat-free dairy items, whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes, fish, and lean meats. Try to reduce the consumption of sodium, saturated fats and added sugars.

  4. Manage blood pressure
    High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, can strain the heart, arteries and kidneys, and can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and other major health problems. You can help control your blood pressure by eating a heart-healthy diet, reducing sodium, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. Managing stress, limiting alcohol and avoiding tobacco smoke can help, too.

  5. Lose weight
    Reducing weight can reduce the risk for heart disease. Too much fat, especially at the waist, increases the risk for high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. Calculating your BMI, or body mass index, helps determine if you should lose weight.

  6. Reduce blood sugar
    Glucose, or blood sugar, is generated by food and used for the body’s energy. But a high blood sugar level could mean diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

  7. Don’t smoke
    Smoking causes damage throughout the circulatory system. It can lead to hardened arteries; reduce “good cholesterol,” known as HDL; and diminish lung capacity, making it more difficult to engage in physical activity. If you’re going to start with only one of Life’s Simple 7, it’s a good idea to make it this one. Quitting smoking can result in immediate benefits.

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