Take Care of Your Heart
February is Heart Health Month
While this month promotes the importance of keeping your heart healthy, it is something that we should include in our lives every month.
What you can do to keep your heart healthy:
- Limit Convenience Foods
- Processed foods have little to no nutritional value and put added stress on your heart by raising blood pressure and blood sugar. A study from the CDC found that there is a correlation with processed foods and a decrease in heart health. Try and consume more fresh produce from your grocery store.
- Limit Eating Food Past 8:00PM
- Consuming food too close to resting time can cause weight gain, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, all things that put added stress on your heart.
- Exercise More
- Physical activity is not only good for your waist line, but it can also increase your chance of surviving a heart attack.
- Keep Stress Levels Low
- Stress in your life alerts your nervous system to release adrenaline and cortisol, which causes the heart to beat faster, breathing rate increase, blood vessels dilate, and blood glucose levels rise. All of this puts added work on the heart to pump blood to keep up with the demand of these body systems.
Heart Healthy Activity
- Walk the dog
- Take the kids to the playground
- Do a few laps around the building on your lunch break
- Lift dumbbell weights while watching evening TV
- Visit the local gym 3x a week
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Heart Healthy Food
- Fresh vegetables: carrots, celery, spinach, cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower
- Fresh fruits: Apples, pears, bananas, kiwi, melon, berries
- Low-fat meats like chicken breast
- Reduced-sodium or no added sodium peanut butter
- Low-fat dairy products like string cheese or yogurt
Reduced fee of $15 Cholesterol Test during the month of February at Izaak Walton Center in Elgin!
Contact the Office of Community Health at (630) 483-5665 to schedule an appointment.