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February: American Heart Month

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February is always associated with Valentine’s Day and Black History Month but did you know that February is also American Heart Month? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a whopping 600,000 people, both woman and men, die of a heart related condition in the United States each year! That means that 1 out of 4 people will die of heart attacks and heart diseases. This is a scary statistic that is extremely high in African Americans. WOW! I don’t know about you but I plan on living a long healthy life. So this year instead of spending money on useless things like cute plush teddy bears and high sugared candies, give the person you love something that is priceless and cannot be replaced – YOU! Decide to make this heart healthy change fun for the whole family. Small changes can make big differences and I guarantee that you will look and feel better as well.

Limiting or eliminating salt and sodium – A lot of canned foods, especially soups are high in sodium and should be labeled ‘Heart attack in a can’. Substitute by using fresh herbs. They are inexpensive and you can start a small garden in your home. Kids love to help with this!

Eat more fresh fruits and veggies – Not only will you be giving your body the nutrients that it needs to function properly but you will be able to tell the difference, just ask your taste buds!

Exercise at least 30 minutes a day – This one can be difficult for many of us due to our work schedule and other activities but as long as you make small changes like parking farther away and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Every little bit counts!

STOP smoking – I was a smoker for many years and after quitting my breathing and overall health has changed for the better. This can be very hard to do but get your family involved and get the support you need and you can do it!

You think you know all about heart health? Well test your knowledge with this quick heart health quiz.

Below are some help centers to quit smoking in the Charlotte area:

Smoking and Quitting Smoking Center

Anne Penman Laser to Stop Smoking Center

Charlotte Hypnosis Center

FREE! Support Works

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/HeartDisease/facts.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/

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