Tips to improve your heart health

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:28 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - February is American Heart Month, so maybe that has you thinking about being a little healthier.

So what can you be doing now to make that happen? We asked a cardiologist and here’s what they said.

The biggest piece of advice: if you’re a smoker, quit.

Next, get your blood pressure checked - that goes for all ages.

High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it can be easily ignored or go unchecked.

Now, physical activity is also huge.

Some people over emphasize sweating or getting your heart rate up, but it’s more important to do things that you enjoy like exercise activities such as tennis which can be more helpful than jogging or swimming.

Next is your diet which is a huge factor in your heart health.

Throwing in some healthy foods can’t hurt it can only help.

Lastly, the most surprising tip that many people don’t consider - don’t isolate yourself.

Loneliness or not having a good social support network can be a 30 to 40% risk increase for heart disease if you have a substantial amount of social isolation in your life.

Cardiologist Matthew Pflederer says heart disease is still the number one cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States.

“Kind of right there with cancer. But fortunately, the things that are good for your heart are good for the rest of your body,” Pflederer said.

It’s never too early to start improving your heart health, but if you start to experience chest pains, shortness of breath or swelling in your legs, you’re encouraged to reach out to your physician.

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