February is “American Heart Month,” a time for all of us at Family Healthcare Associates to inspire more individuals to focus on their heart health. With COVID tragically taking so many of our family and friends this past year, it’s remarkable to think heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States (650,000 Americans die of heart disease each year).

That’s why we are taking this moment to promote a healthy lifestyle, which involves changing the way many of us live our lives. The good news is we are not helpless when it comes to heart disease, there is so much we can do together, and guess what? Studies show people have a better chance of changing their routines if they do it with family so, here are some ways you and your loved ones can get heart healthy today.

Change Your Diet

Try eating more meals that contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, or beans. Limit foods high in saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and set aside time to make heart healthy recipes for your family.

Lose Weight

Carrying extra weight increases your risk of having a myriad of health issues. We suggest eating healthier while also taking part in heart-healthy activities, like going for a bike ride with your kids after school, or taking an online exercise class, or even having a Zoom dance party with your family.

Reduce Stress

Hypertension and stress is a leading cause of heart disease, and high blood pressure. We suggest individuals speak with someone they trust to help cope with stress. Daily exercise and meditation also helps to clear your mind.

Get Proper Sleep

Did you know not getting enough sleep increases your risk of heart disease? Try to get 7 to 8 hours a night, do not eat late meals, and stick to a consistent bedtime.

Quit Smoking

Every American should know that tobacco damages your heart and lungs. Quitting smoking is not easy but many do it every day. When you decide to stop, let your friends and family know, and ask for their support.

Monitor Your Health

Keep track of your daily blood pressure, weight, diet, and exercise routine, it will help you stick to your new lifestyle. Caring for your heart-health can be a daily battle, but it’s simpler than you think. If you can get your family onboard with a new healthier lifestyle, you can do it together.