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Love Your Heart

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Do you ever think about your heart? Your heart is the engine that provides life sustenance to all other parts of your body. If your heart suddenly stopped, all other bodily functions would immediately also stop. Your heart pumps about once every second of your entire life. Your heart is the most important organ of your life.

Diseases related to the heart and its cardiovascular system are our nation's number 1 killer and a leading cause of disability preventing people from working and enjoying family activities. It is one of the most costly and widespread health problem in the United States.

Since 1963 February has been proclaimed "American Heart Month" for the purpose of trying to make American citizens love their heart. Cardiovascular diseases are among the most preventable of all diseases. If only we would become more mindful of our heart and its importance to our life, we could live longer and be more active physically and mentally.

The American Heart Association asks us to know our ABCS to address the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and help prevent heart attacks and strokes. The ABCS are:

     A: Aspirin for people at risk for cardiovascular disease. Simply ask your doctor if you should take an aspirin every day.

     B: Blood pressure control. Find out if you have high blood pressure, and if you do, find the effective treatment.

     C: Cholesterol management. Have your cholesterol checked, and if it is high, again effectively treat it.

     S: Smoking cessation. Find resources to help you quit smoking.

Make thinking about the health of your heart an everyday activity. Make your calories count. Eat a heart-healthy diet high in fruit, vegetables, and fiber, and low in sodium and trans and saturated fats. Move out of the chair and be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day of the week.

When you eat a healthy snack or meal and engage in physical activity, think about the decisions you have made to make your heart and your entire body and mind healthy for the rest of your life.