The Best Valentine’s Gift: Heart Health


February is a great time to commit or recommit to making healthier lifestyle changes that can have lasting effects on the quality of your life. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men in the United States, killing 1 in 4. African Americans are at the highest risk for heart disease with 40 percent of African Americans having high blood pressure—a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. This February, make time to begin a lifelong commitment to heart healthy living!

Individuals at risk for heart disease can take a few simple steps toward this goal:

  • Make an appointment to talk to your doctor about heart health, as well as regular annual checkups
  • Learn new ways to de-stress. Your EAP, provided through Behavioral Health Systems, can help you learn ways to cope with stress at home and at work
  • Add exercise to your weekly regimen. Start modestly with a schedule you can actually commit to
  • Include more heart friendly meals that are low in sodium, but still tasty with the use of dried herbs and spices
  • If you smoke, join a smoking cessation program and adopt new lifestyle habits. Your EAP may provide counseling to help you quit
  • Find new hobbies and habits that allow you to remain active throughout the year
  • Let go of things beyond your control