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By: Elena Jamscek, PA-C

Heart health is important all year round, but February is heart month!

How to know your heart’s health

  • Get your yearly lab work – complete blood count, metabolic panels, cholesterol, A1C, and thyroid panels
  • Take your blood pressure – know what normal should be (120/80)
  • Take your resting heart rate – normal should be below 100 beats per minute while resting

How to maintain a healthy heart

  • Get regular exercise – 20-30 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week is great for your heart
    • This will help lower your resting heart rate and your blood pressure allowing your heart not to work as hard for your daily needs
  • Decreased sodium (salt) – most people don’t realize how much salt we consume – always choose the option at the grocery store that says something like “33% less sodium” in the canned and frozen section. Cheese and bread also have a high sodium content so be aware.
  • Choose low fat protein options – white meat, fish, lean red meat – pork in moderation sorry
  • Choose heart healthy fats – avoid trans fats, limit saturated fats – go for oils and nuts over butter and cheese
  • Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
  • Red wine – one glass of red wine an evening can be heart healthy
  • Dark chocolate – in moderation can be heart healthy

Hope this helps – take care of your heart!