Throughout the month of February, Holy Family Memorial (HFM) will be going red for American Heart Month. HFM Harbor Town Campus, HFM Lakefront Campus and the HFM Medical Center will be lit up in red to increase awareness about heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States. About 655,000 Americans die from heart disease each year—that’s one in four deaths. Although the statistics are alarming,
Dr. Matthew Gentile, a cardiologist at HFM Heart & Vascular Center, says the good news is that people can prevent heart disease can by making healthier lifestyle choices to reduce their risk factors.
Dr. Gentile offers seven tips to improve heart health:
- Schedule regular check-ups. An annual preventive exam will allow your primary care provider to monitor your risk factors for heart disease and help you to make necessary lifestyle changes.
- Quit smoking. Smoking damages blood vessels and can cause heart disease. The HFM Tobacco Independence Program can help individuals put together a stop-smoking plan.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Replace foods high in sodium with fresh fruits and vegetables to help lower blood pressure, and avoid a diet high in trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugar that can increase the risk factors for heart disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing heart disease.
- Get moving. Try to get in at least 30 minutes of daily, moderate activity to help protect your heart and your health.
- Lower blood pressure. Learn what your blood pressure is and work with your PCP to lower it if you have elevated or high blood pressure.
- Control blood sugar (glucose) level.
To learn more about your heart health risk and what you can do to prevent heart disease, visit hfmhealth.org/heart-care.