A Heart-Healthy Valentine’s Day

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Provided by Patient First

Your heart may belong to a certain someone this Valentine’s Day, but it is up to you to keep that loving heart in good shape.  February is American Heart Month, and Valentine’s Day is a great time for a heart-healthy gift.

Treat your special someone to a gift that is heartfelt and good for the heart.  Express yourself with one of these gift ideas:

  1. What’s cooking – Many restaurants offer heart-healthy menus. However, you have more control over what goes into your meal by cooking it yourself.  Give your loved one the gift of healthy cooking classes.  It is a great way to taste new food, learn something that will last a lifetime, and give you an excuse for a romantic candlelight dinner at home.
  2. A heart-healthy workout – Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight and provides countless heart-health benefits. It’s not limited to a gym.  Does your Valentine like to go dancing?  How about a long, romantic walk?  Get out, get active, and get healthy.
  3. Massage – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that relaxation and stress relief are important for good heart health.  You can melt that stress away with a couples’ massage.
  4. Sweet stuff – Does your loved one crave something sweet?  Try a beautiful fresh fruit basket instead of a box of candied sweets with added sugars.
  5. Kick the habit – Give up smoking for your loved one or help them kick the habit themselves.

Affairs of the heart are not limited to Valentine’s Day.  These steps will help you be a healthy valentine every day of the year:

  • Know your blood pressure.  Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke.
  • Keep your weight under control.  Obesity raises the risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and diabetes.
  • Know your cholesterol levels.  High cholesterol raises the risk of heart disease.
  • Reduce your salt intake.
  • Reduce stress to help lower your risk of heart disease.
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