Valentine’s Day may have come and gone as love was in the air and couples spoiled each other with flowers and chocolate. February is also American Heart Month, for those who did not know, so do not be sad if you weren’t doing anything special on the 14th because even if you are single, you still have yourself, and that is something great! I’m sure you want to know why we celebrate American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and considering these unfortunate facts, the month is used to enlighten people to be more health conscious in hopes of reducing those bad habits contributing to this disease.

Heart disease can be prevented for some by choosing to lead a healthier life. Although it is not necessary to cut out junk food completely, you should consider adding healthier options into your daily routine. For example, the body sometimes craves junk food, so combat this by substituting dark chocolate for milk chocolate. If you want something sweet, go for the bright colored fruit in the refrigerator over that entire bag of rainbow skittles.

Staying active is also crucial to preventing heart disease along with a healthy diet. The heart is a muscular organ that needs plenty of strength to pump blood, oxygen, and nutrients through the body. Cardiovascular exercise helps the heart stay in top shape. Healthy eating and exercise is the best steps to take for a healthy heart, and watching your weight also limits your chances of becoming obese. Remember, we only have one body, and an unhealthy lifestyle is far from ideal for keeping it in top shape.

If you find yourself in situations where your temper becomes heightened or you are faced with constant anxiety, it may be a good time to rethink your lifestyle. There are better ways to deal with stress and you should be thinking of positive ways to calm yourself down and keep your blood pressure low. The extra force from high blood pressure can make it more difficult for blood and oxygen to get to and from the heart as well as damage artery walls and create scar tissue.

You are only born with one heart, and while Valentine’s Day may have strengthened or weakened it emotionally, it is very important you take care of it. Adapting a healthy diet and adding cardiovascular exercise to your workout routine can be a great start to a healthier heart and a better you!

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