As we begin February, it’s time to focus on matters of the heart. In addition to celebrating Valentine’s Day, February is American Heart Month.
As heart disease in the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, this month focus on lifestyle changes to improve your heart health.
Dr. John Foreyt, professor of medicine-antherosclerosis and vascular medicine at Baylor College of Medicine suggests starting slowly.
“Think of the good choices you can make today,” he said. “A good place to start is by understanding where you are currently in terms of health.”
Dr. Foreyt suggests talking with your doctor to establish your goals when it comes to losing weight, or lowering your cholesterol or blood pressure.
He offers these tips:
- Eat breakfast – people who eat breakfast are more likely to make better food choices throughout the day
- Cut back on portion size during your next meal – don’t make drastic diet changes you will not be able to keep
- Tell someone today you want to start making healthier choices – this will help to create a support system as you find others who are also looking to make healthy changes
- Go to bed earlier tonight – the body needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night
- Go for a walk this evening – start small, maybe just 10 minutes, and gradually work your way to longer walks
- Weigh yourself today – The number on the scale doesn’t necessarily indicate your health, but it could help you make better food and exercise decisions throughout the day
“Small changes are less overwhelming,” Dr. Foreyt said. “Another good tip is to remember that every day is a new day and a new opportunity to make good choices.”