February is traditionally the month for matters of the heart, a time when we’re reminded to take care of our own heart which needs care year-round to help us lead productive and rewarding lives.
As an internist, I see many patients with heart disease brought on by unwise lifestyle choices - lack of regular physical activity and diets too high in fats and sugars – these result in high cholesterol, diabetes and weight gain which raise risks for heart attack and strokes.
Up to half of us are affected by high blood pressure as we age; controlling it by stopping smoking, losing weight, lowering salt intake and taking any necessary medications can greatly reduce the development of heart disease.
I encourage you during “heart health month” to commit to small steps toward improvements in your diet, exercise and smoking habits. With the guidance of your medical provider, such changes can lead to optimal heart health.
Do it for yourself and those you love!
I’m Dr David Jennings with Church Health.