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Go Red Day is February 5

Take these health and fitness tips to heart!

The American Heart Association is promoting Go Red for Women Day on February 5, 2016. It’s a day to raise awareness about heart disease—particularly in women. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women. Here are some tips to help prevent heart disease. These tips are compiled from suggestions from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Heart Association.

Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

Tip 1: Get annual checkups

Your primary care physician can help get you on a regular schedule of screenings for cholesterol and high blood pressure. He or she can also help you assess your risk of heart attack. If your doctor feels you are at risk for heart disease, there may be additional tests you may need to take, and you may be prescribed needed medications.

Tip 2: Know the red flags

Take some time to refresh yourself on the warning signs of a heart attack. If at any time you have symptoms of a heart attack, do not hesitate. Call 9-1-1.

Tip 3: Get fit and stay fit

If you are not already fit, then speak with your doctor about starting a fitness plan. If you are already fit, try to exercise 3 to 5 hours per week at a moderate level of intensity. This can be through classes at the gym, running, fast-walking, biking, or any type of exercise you enjoy. If you have trouble getting motivated, choose fitness as a social activity. Take a long walk or bike ride with a friend. Try also to walk at least 30 minutes per day, which can be broken up into three 10-minute walks. This helps to avoid being too sedentary. And don’t forget strengthening exercises. There are so many ways to vary your workout!

Tip 4: Reduce stress in your life

Life gets too busy, and stress can negatively impact our health. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. Other options might be reading a book, taking a walk, talking with a friend, going to the movies, or finding some other way to have “me” time.

Tip 5: Don’t smoke

If you don’t smoke, please don’t start! If you already smoke, talk to your doctor about the safest way to quit. It is not easy to quit, and it is best for you to have a doctor’s advice. The American Lung Association also has helpful advice for quitting.

Tip 6: Limit your alcohol intake

Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure and put you at higher risk. The standard advice for limiting your consumption is no more than 2 drinks per day for men, and 1 drink per day for women. If you are drinking heavily, talk to your doctor about the safest way to cut back. For heavy drinkers who are trying to quit, there could dangerous withdrawal symptoms, so be sure to get a doctor’s advice rather than trying to do it yourself.

Tip 7: Eat a healthy diet

Heart-healthy diets are high in fresh fruits and vegetables, high in fiber, and low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also a good idea to limit your salt/sodium intake. The American Heart Association’s Healthy Eating website is a great place for advice.

Tip 8: Maintain a healthy weight

A healthy weight is usually determined by your body mass index. If you know your height and weight, you can calculate your BMI here. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about safe ways to lose weight.

Tip 9. Take your medicines properly

Heart medicines can help reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack. If your doctor prescribes medicines for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, or any other condition, be sure to take them exactly as directed.

We hope this article has helped raise awareness about heart disease and heart attack. And remember, if you’ve got something red, wear it on February 5!

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This article is part of the Harris School of Business’s ongoing effort to provide health awareness articles for its students and the public. With campuses located near Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Dover, as well as in New Jersey and Connecticut, the Harris School offers adult education programs for people wishing to become Medical Assistants, Dental Assistants, Massage Therapists, Health Claims Specialists (medical billing and coding), Surgical Technicians, Pharmacy Technicians, and more. Contact Us for more information!