American Heart Month
14 February 2014
February is American Heart Month, and as a leading nonprofit dedicated to improving health and well-being, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads offers the following tips to help families be heart healthy.
- Get Physical: Being physically active every day is fun and can improve the function of your heart. Plan and schedule opportunities for active play; for example, include a brisk 10-minute trip around the block after meals or a 10-minute walking break during the day. If your family enjoys active video games, select versions that require moving the body’s large muscle groups while playing.
- Take a Snooze: Lack of sleep has been associated with elevated cholesterol and blood pressure. Adults need at least seven, but no more than nine hours of sleep at night to aid with the prevention of heart disease. Children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night.
- Shape Up Those Recipes: Makeover your family’s favorite recipes by reducing the amount of salt and saturated fat and substituting a lower fat food (for example low-fat yogurt instead of sour cream) can make a recipe healthier without sacrificing taste.
- Feeling the Pressure: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lowering or maintaining normal blood pressure can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke. Nearly 1 in 3 adults (about 67 million people) has high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and discuss the results with you doctor.
- Play Together: Spending time together as a family is a great way to reduce stress, which is important to heart health. Make homemade valentines for your children’s classmates or build a snow fort together in the yard or the park.
Click here to search our website for more ideas for how your family can live a healthy, active life!