Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Health Commissioner Dr. Alicia Pointer are reminding residents that February is American Heart Month, an appropriate time to learn how to prevent heart disease and stay “heart healthy.”
“Each February, the American Heart Association challenges all of us to learn more about heart disease and its risk factors, and to join its mission to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle,” Neuhaus said. “Heart Month raises an important question that we should all take the time to answer honestly: ‘Am I doing all I can to remain heart healthy?’ It is never too late to make important heart healthy changes and I encourage residents to make that effort.”
Neuhaus noted that County employees also take part in a “Wear Red Dress Down day every February, and thanked County staff for their participation.
According to the American Heart Association, Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, is the number one killer of men and women in the U.S. It is also a leading cause of disability. One person dies from heart disease in this country approximately every 34 seconds.
Dr. Pointer noted that a heart-healthy lifestyle includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough physical activity, not smoking or using other forms of tobacco, and limiting alcohol use.
You can do your part to mitigate risk factors:
- Try strategies to manage stress.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes five days a week.
- Eat heart-healthy meals and snacks.
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
- Quit smoking.
- Cut back on alcohol use.
- Take prescribed medications for blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes or other conditions.
- Talk to your doctor about how often to get your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar checked, and about how your numbers affect your risk for heart disease.
“Heart disease is one of the leading causes of premature death and a significant cause of disability in Orange County, but for many people, heart disease is preventable,” Dr. Pointer said. “Making healthy choices and staying up to date with regular medical care can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar and reduce your risk for heart disease. The environment also plays a role in heart disease, and during National Heart Month, we continue our work to help create healthy schools, workplaces, and communities.”
To learn more about preventing heart disease, speak with your doctor, or visit the American Heart Association website at www.heart.org.