Healthy Heart, Healthy You

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Heart shaped bowl full of berries

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Cardiovascular disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in the U.S., but there are many ways we can keep our hearts strong and healthy. While cardiovascular disease tends to manifest in older generations, it is never too early or too late to start taking steps to reduce your risk of developing heart health issues. 

Tips for Maintaining Your Heart Health:

  • Do not smoke, vape, or use tobacco products: The chemicals in these products can lead to higher risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes by damaging your heart and blood vessels.
  • Regular exercise: Strengthen your heart with about 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week, whether that is through a sport you enjoy, going for a walk, or group fitness class.
  • Get enough sleep: It can be difficult to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but strategies like time-blocking or creating a sleep schedule can help you reduce extra strain on your heart.
  • Consume a heart-healthy diet: Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and foods low in trans fat and saturated fat in your diet. Limiting fried foods and sweets can help prevent heart disease as well.
  • Manage stress: Find ways to reduce stress that work for you. Exercise, meditation, or even spending time with friends can help you relax and unwind. 
  • Have regular wellness exams: Talk to your doctor about your heart health and complete necessary screenings.

For more information, check out these websites:

How to Help Prevent Heart Disease At Any Age

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Special thanks to Kianna Cook, 2020 summer intern with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Alamance County Center for collecting the content for this article!