Posts Tagged ‘Heart’

Love your heart this Valentine season

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

February, the month of Valentine’s Day, holds a lot of talk about love and hearts. There is reason beyond romance to think about your heart.

It is National Heart Month, a perfect time to show your own heart some love. It is imperative that you know how to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle and try to avoid heart disease. That is best for you and all those who love you.

Heart disease, including stroke, is the No. 1 killer of both men and women.

The more risk factors you have, the greater the chance you will develop heart disease. The probability goes up with physical inactivity, smoking, obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The good news is you can reduce risk through lifestyle changes. Try to follow what the American Heart Association calls Life’s Simple 7:

1. Don’t smoke.
2. Do at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
3. Meet the healthy diet requirements of the American Heart Association.
4. Have a total cholesterol of less than 200.
5. Have a blood pressure below 120/80.
6. Have a fasting blood glucose level less than 100.
7. Achieve a body mass index of lower than 25.

There are plenty of good things to achieve — besides getting a chance back at life. Lots of delicious foods with plenty of good taste are ready to be eaten: lean meats, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Seasonings beyond salt, like life-preserving spices, also give flavor. In the cold months when many fresh fruits and vegetables are not in season, canned or frozen ones hold all the nutrition of those recently picked.

If prevention does not go far enough, it is wise to know the signs and symptoms of a cardiovascular event.

The five major symptoms of a heart attack are pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back; feeling weak or faint; chest pain; pain in arms or shoulder, and shortness of breath. Someone having a stroke may have numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg; be confused; have trouble speaking, seeing or walking; dizziness, and loss of balance or coordination.

Any of these signs or symptoms requires emergency care immediately.

It is possible to celebrate Valentine’s Day while being good to your heart. Heart-Healthy No-Bake Cookies provide a treat both heart-healthy and delicious, with smart-to-eat fats, antioxidants and fiber that emphasize eating for and with a healthy heart. The recipe, adapted from, needs no baking as well. (more…)