February is American Heart Month This February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States today. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary heart disease that often appears as a heart attack. A heart-healthy lifestyle is vital to reducing your risk for heart disease and heart attacks. You may not be able to change your family history, age or gender, but here are three ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. REDUCE YOUR RISK: 3 Ways to Beat Heart Disease 1. STOP SMOKING. Commit to quit. Support groups, nicotine replacement therapy and other medications are available to help you quit. We know itâ�?�?s not going to be easy. The sooner you quit, the greater your chance of�? reversing the risk of heart disease and other tobacco-related diseases. 2. EAT YOUR VEGGIES. A healthy diet is one of the best ways to fight heart disease. Focus on healthy foods that are low in�? calories, high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole-grain and high-fiber foods, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products is the key. Plus, the food you eat can affect other risk factors such as obesity, cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. 3. EXERCISE EVERY DAY. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day for five or more days each week. Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level. Even ten minutes of exercise can offer some health benefits. If youâ�?�?re doing nothing now, start out slow. It is always better to do something than nothing at all.�? �? Reducing stress, limiting alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and monitoring your cholesterol are other ways to keep your health in check. Regular visits with your physician and health screenings can also play an important role in reducing your risk. Your physician knows your health history and can identify certain risk factors. Remember, your lifestyle is your best defense against heart disease, and itâ�?�?s also your responsibility. For more information about prevention, visit the American Heart Association Web site at www.americanheart.org. �? Source: American Heart Association �?