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Protect your Heart’s Health in February with some solid tips

Visit heart.org for steps you can take to maintain a healthy heart.

February is American Heart Health Awareness Month. Medical professionals throughout the Star Valley community are encouraging citizens to adopt or continue habits and lifestyles that will increase heart health.

Prevention of heart disease begins with diet and exercise. According to Chris Simpson, School Nurse at Afton Elementary in Lincoln County School District No. 2, the secrets to heart health include healthy eating, appropriate levels of physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of rest, avoiding second-hand smoke, controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, and managing stress.

Simpson, recommends that the public visit heart.org and explore the “living” tab. “It is a wonderful resource of steps each of us can take to maintain a healthy heart.”

Twenty tips for applying heart-health principles include:

•Be active with family/friends.

•Snack wisely.

•Watch your portion sizes.

•Practice mindful eating.

•Get plenty of sleep.

•Control your stress levels.

•Balance meals with protein.

•Focus on fiber.

•Cut back on taste testing.

•Bring a healthy dish to share.

•Limit your dessert intake.

•Limit liquid calories.

•Use a smaller plate.

•Modify your recipes

•Weigh yourself regularly.

•Use the buddy system.

•Avoid processed foods.

•Plan ahead.

•Skip seconds.

•Set limits and stick with it.

Heart-healthy foods include; Salmon, Nuts, Berries, Flaxseed, Oatmeal, Beans, Tofu, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Red Bell Peppers, Spinach, Citrus Fruits, Asparagus, Tomatoes, Dark Chocolate, Broccoli, Chickpeas, Avocados, Red Grapes, Olive Oil and Pomegranates.

Heart diseases include: Blood vessel diseases (such as coronary artery disease),   Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) and heart defects you are born with (congenital heart defects).

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