Heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death in America. One in three Americans suffer from high blood pressure. These factors have led the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to launch the Million Hearts Initiative. This initiative aims to prevent 1 million deaths from heart disease by the year 2017.
Do you know your ABCS’s for heart disease prevention?
A – Aspirin for high risk patients
B – Blood pressure control
C – Cholesterol management
S – Smoking cessation
S – Stress Reduction
The Initiative offers these great ideas to tackle the ABCS’s and get heart healthy:
- Sit less and stand more! Engage in 30 minutes of activity 5 days per week.
- Stay tobacco free.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Know your numbers (i.e. BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol). February is a great time to talk with your physician about your numbers and what they mean for your health.
- If you have high blood pressure and/or cholesterol, take your medication and consult with your healthcare provider to prevent a heart attack or stroke.
- Engage in strategies to de-stress. Take 5 slow deep breaths when tense, take a walk, do yoga, learn to say “no.”
Decide today to make a heart healthy lifestyle change for the people who love you and want you around for a very long time! Visit the Million Hearts Initiative or participate in one of Ohio State University Extension’s Million Hearts educational series to learn more about the ABCS’s of heart disease and get on your way to a healthier you!