Remember, February is not only the month for lovers with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, but it’s also Heart Health Month. So what are YOU doing to maintain that vital muscle?

Even though you may be caught up in getting that dozen roses or maybe even taking the plunge and picking up that diamond you purchased, isn’t it true that this relates to this special, love-commitment day? But heart health is where we need to turn our attention to. Especially if you want to be around your significant other for years to come!

The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented with education and lifestyle changes, and the movement Go Red For Women advocates more research and preventative measures for heart health for both women and men.

Five Numbers that all everyone – male and female – should know to take control of their heart health are total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help people and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. It’s time for everyone to learn the most critical numbers in their life – their hearts depend on it.

The American Heart Association stresses that being physically active is very important to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers. To improve overall cardiovascular health, the AHA suggests at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember and you will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.

Generally, exercise improves the heart by strengthening the muscle, improving the metabolism and improving lung capacity, not to mention improving stress management. Ever here the word Endorphins? 

In addition to exercise, we want to emphasize the importance of making any necessary dietary changes and management of excessive stress. You would be supprised just how taking a walk can help you get the stress levels down.

In fact, on an episode of "Good Morning America" aired on February 9th. The resident dietician Dr.Jennifer Ashton spoke about the benefits of eating whole grain foods since the natural grains maintain the bran and germ which are essential to keeping the body fueled with good nutrients, which also help to keep you feeling full. Unlike the refined grains which basically strip away all that good fiber and germ which we need for a healthy heart

“Moderate, vigorous exercise, such as walking and running, dancing, taking steps, swimming, anything that gets your heart rate up and gets you breathing faster, is what you need to do,” she said.

For those with high blood pressure or cholesterol, she agrees with the AHA’s recommendation of a weekly exercise regimen to lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
So, along with planning a great, romantic evening, start planning on how you both can start your lives together eating what’s right, exercising and above all, just being happy in each other's new commitment which we hope includes a heart healthy lifestyle which will lead to a long, long life together.

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