It is Valentine’s Day, so what better time for Heart Health Tips from the North End Community Health Center. Also, check out the new “Health & Fitness” page under the “Living Here” menu.
“7 Simple Steps” for heart health
by Mary Wright, Health Educator, North End Community Health Center
Since February is Heart Month, the North End Community Health Center would like to share The American Heart Association’s “7 Simple Steps” that can help you have a healthy heart.
1. Get Active: You should have at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise—about 30 minutes a day.
2. Eat Better: You should eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. You should cut the fat in your diet, limit your sodium intake to less than 1500 milligrams a day, and don’t drink more than 36 ounces of sugar-sweetened soda per week.
3. Lose Weight: You need to have a healthy body mass index (BMI). A combination of healthy eating and physical activity will help achieve this goal.
4. Stop Smoking: This is the single most important preventable cause of premature death in the US. Your risk for developing heart disease decreases after being smoke free for one year.
5. Control Cholesterol: Your total cholesterol should be less than 200. You need to eat less fat and stay physically active.
6. Manage Your Blood Pressure: This is the most significant risk for heart disease. Some of the things you need to do to achieve this goal are to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, manage stress, maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active, and stop smoking. Your blood pressure should be 120/80 or below.
7. Reduce Your Blood Sugar: Diabetes is considered one of the 6 manageable risk factors for heart disease. Your fasting blood sugar should be less than 100.