NDSU Extension Service - Dickey County

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National Heart Awareness Month

Aimee Ellinger, 4-H/ Youth Development and FCS Agent

healthy heartFebruary is filled with flowers, chocolate and red cut out hearts. Most of us rush to pick out the perfect gift for our Valentine and make cookies and cards in heart shaped designs. But there is another heart that we need to be focusing on this month, February National Heart Awareness Month Have you thought about your own heart lately? On average, your heart beats about 100,000 times per day, pumping nutrients and oxygen throughout your body.  We often take this hard-working group of muscles for granted. One of the leading diseases in men and women in the United States is heart disease. About 700,000 people die every year from heart disease, 51% of that being women. One of the ways to manage your risk is to recognize the factors that can trigger heart disease, some of the risk factors include age, family history, smoking, food choices, level of physical activity, diabetes and high blood pressure. There are many ways that you can improve your health and help to combat heart disease. Eating the right kind of food is one way you can stay on track. Look for foods that are rich fiber such as barley, oatmeal, legumes. Also try consuming a variety of fruit and vegetables, it is recommended that adults consume 2½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit daily. Eating more whole grains, fish, soy products and olive, canola and peanut oils.  Incorporating at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such walking, on five or more days of the week can also help to lower your risk of heart disease.  For more information about food and nutrition, visit: www.ndsu.edu/eatsmart ; Web-based Resources with Heart Health Information; American Heart Association: www.americanheart.org .

 

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