It pumps 2,000 gallons of blood every day. Over a 70 year life time it will beat over 2.5 billion times. Because the heart is a muscle, that makes exercising it more important than ever. Thirty minutes of aerobic exercise a day (that has you panting) puts you in the right zone. But hitting the gym or going for a walk isn't enough when it comes to achieving good heart health. "You can be good about what you eat, stay away from fats especially saturated and trans fats. Stay away from processed food as much as possible. Stay away from too much sodium. You can eat more fruit and fish. Limit your red meat. Eat chicken," says health educator Kristine Lindahl.
One in every three deaths is caused from heart disease or stroke. These conditions are also the leading causes of disability, preventing people from working and enjoying family activities. Cardiovascular disease is also very expensive. Together heart disease and stroke hospitalizations in 2010 cost the nation more 444 billion dollars in health care expenses and lost productivity.
Lindahl says heart disease is the number one killer of women. But having regular blood pressure checks can help you from becoming a victim. Over time, high blood pressure can damage your heart. Prevention starts with you and it's as simple as A,B,C!
Ask your doctor if you should take an aspirin every day. Find out if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and if you do, get effective treatment. And finally, if you smoke, get help to quit.
February is American Heart month.