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Celebrating American Heart Month this February

February is American Heart Month! Heart disease is astoundingly the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. Since Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love and it falls in the month of February as well, what better time to educate ourselves on the topic of heart health and show our hearts some love. Here are 5 ways you can better the health of your heart each and every day.

Eat foods with healthy fats

Salmon, avocado, tuna, nuts, dark chocolate, and seeds are just a few foods that are full of heart-healthy fats. Add these foods to your diet by substituting them for the greasy fast food meals and chips. Your body will love you for it.

Shed a few pounds

Your heart functions much more efficiently when it is not under the stress of fat. When you gain weight, fat build-up doesn’t just form in your arms, legs, and belly – it also forms a fatty lining around the heart. When an overweight person begins to lose weight, the fat around the heart diminishes as well. If you need to lose some weight, lose it in moderation. Figure out what works for you, and don’t expect too much from your body.

Throw out the cigarettes

Smoking is a tough habit to break. Although, if you are a smoker, it is important for you to understand the effects that every smoke has on your heart. Tobacco products contain chemicals that decrease the functional quality of the heart, and they can cause significant damage to your arteries.

Start exercising

Every form of exercise improves the strength of your heart. Your heart is essentially the power muscle of your entire body, and exercise makes it stronger just like any other muscle. Plus, exercising can help you lose some weight!

Keep your stress levels down

Stress has a huge impact on your physical health, especially your heart. When you are under a lot of stress, your body releases cortisol which negatively impacts multiple functions of the cardiovascular system. Try exploring ways to destress or prevent stress. Breathing treatments, yoga, reading, and meditation are just a few ways you can start keeping the stress away. 
At First Care Clinics, we encourage our patients to live the healthiest lifestyle possible to better their quality of life. Take these 5 suggestions into consideration, and start prioritizing your heart health today. Visit your local First Care Clinic today, or check out our website for more information about our services.