Improving Heart Health starts NOW
By Amber Scharbo MS, ATC, ACSM-CPT Health Educator, Fort Belvoir Armed Forces Wellness CenterFebruary 19, 2021
February is Healthy Heart month. Take a moment and think about your current lifestyle and daily routine. What are you doing to keep your heart healthy? Unfortunately, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. The good news is there are several things that you can do to help prevent it.Heart disease can impact anyone, but risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity, tobacco use, and alcohol abuse can increase the likelihood of developing the disease. By adopting a few healthy habits, each of us can reduce our risk. Avoiding tobacco, moderating alcohol consumption, making balanced and nutritious meal choices, and staying active can help prevent or treat conditions that lead to heart disease. Adults with heart conditions are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which makes it even more important to follow these suggestions. Take a look at the list below and see which opportunities you can make for a healthier heart.HEART HEALTH CHECK LIST• Eat HealthyAre you eating a serving of fruit or vegetables at each meal?• Get ActiveAre you participating in 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week?• Stop SmokingHave you made a plan to quit using tobacco?• Manage StressAre you taking time to relax and breathe deeply each day?How did you measure up?Were there any areas that needed improvement?If you answered yes, then pick 1 healthy habit to focus on improving. Decide what needs to be modified in your daily routine that supports creating sustainable, healthy change. Next, look for resources or a friend to help you make this change successful. Education and accountability are necessary in the behavior change process. Leverage technology to keep you on track. Try one of these apps: MyFitnessPal, Fooducate, FitOn, Virtual Hope Box, Breath2Relax. Check out You Can Quit 2 for excellent resources and guidance on how to quit tobacco use.For more information on healthy habits or the Armed Forces Wellness Center contact Amber Scharbo at email@example.com or Like our Facebook Page, facebook.com/FortBelvoirAFWC.