The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in three deaths are from heart disease and stroke. This averages to 2,200 deaths per day!
Almost all of us have been affected by heart disease in our own lives through the loss of a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend. Heart disease and strokes also are the leading cause of disability which prevents us from working or enjoying everyday activities.
As one way to help us fight back against heart disease, the CDC has created the “Million Hearts” program. The goal of this program is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by the end of 2016 by educating us on how to make heart healthy choices.
Each of us can help prevent heart disease for ourselves and our families by understanding the risks and taking the following steps:
- Take the Million Hearts pledge at www.millionhearts.hhs.gov
- Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week
- Make your calories count by eating a diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in sodium and trans fats, and cholesterol.
- Know your ABCs:
Aspirin – ask your doctor is you should take one every day
If you have high Blood pressure or Cholesterol, get effective treatment.
If you Smoke, get help to quit.
Remember, making small changes in your diet and physical activity level can help you to live a longer, healthier life.
Source: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Be One in a Million this American Heart Month, http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
Author: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences,Ohio State University Extension.