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February is American Heart Month

How you can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke
Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 20:04:56-05

February is American Heart Month - a good time for everyone, particularly women, to get educated on cardiovascular disease.

Tonya Adams, Sr. VP of Customer Experience & Operations for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah says, "I encourage everyone to know the signs and then pay specific attention to them and whether it's chest discomfort or pain in your arm, etcetera, definitely know and be aware and then of course take some preventative measures as well."

Adams says it's important for everyone, especially women, to make their health a priority by eating right, getting exercise, and staying current on their doctor checkups to 'Know Your Numbers.'

"Always take an interest in your own personal health, because as caregivers and those taking care of others, the way to continue to do that is to be a good steward of your own health, as well," says Adams.

She says it can be as simple as making better choices when going out to eat."

"You certainly want to scan that menu for the low-calorie items. Sometimes they may have heart healthy choices on there. If not, do your research ahead of time because a diet that's low in fat, lots of fruits and vegetables ultimately will help you maintain your healthy lifestyle, which ultimately keeps your weight and blood pressure under control which all helps prevent heart disease."

The pandemic has only made matters worse for many - affecting overall wellness with a general decrease in physical activity and an increase in alcohol consumption.

"It's just really important that those habits get replaced with some new healthier habits," says Adams.

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity. That works out to just a 30-minute walk five times per week, or a 25-minute run three times per week.

And Adams says now is the time to Go Red for Women, supporting those heart healthy goals, and making changes, if needed.

"It is time to re-engage again and stay in control of your own health."