February is American Heart Month – What We Need to Know
The month of Valentine’s Day is a good reminder of heart health. The American Heart Association notes February as American Heart month. When pulling up research to write this article, the common theme noted is prevention.
By making choices beneficial to our health, we can make a noted improvement in our health and quality of life. Three contributing factors that can be controlled are dietary, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Early detection, dietary changes and exercise all contribute to lessening the risk factors for our health.
HDL, or ‘good cholesterol’ is the kind of cholesterol we want to have. Here are 5 ways to increase the HDL cholesterol:
- Increase physical activity. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise most days is recommended.
- Lose extra weight. Losing weight not only increases HDL but reduces the LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’.
- Be smart about fats. Choose monoUNsaturated and polyUNsaturated fats from plants, nuts and fish.
- Alcohol in moderation please. Alcohol causes other issues, so make sure to not overindulge.
- Stop smoking. Believe it or not, when you quit smoking your HDL levels increase.
I have attached a quick link from the CDC regarding heart health.
Take time to contact your health care provider for your routine exam and get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked.