February is American Heart Month
Employees encouraged to wear red on Feb. 6
February is American Heart Month, a great time to show yourself some love. Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure—is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. It is a leading cause of disability, preventing Americans from working and enjoying family activities. CVD costs the United States over $300 billion each year, including the cost of health care services, medications and lost productivity.
One day in particular in the month of February is carved out to recognize how women are affected by this disease. Friday, Feb. 6 is known as National Wear Red Day. In support, on that day, all Macomb County staff are encouraged to wear red to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease. Also, throughout the month of February, the Macomb County Circuit Court building and the Macomb County Administration Building, as well as some other municipal sites, will be adorned with red lights.
Take It One Step at a Time
You can control a number of risk factors for CVD, including:
·High blood pressure
·High blood cholesterol
Plan for Prevention
Try out these strategies for better heart health. You'll be surprised how many of them can become lifelong habits!
Work with your health care team. Get a checkup at least once each year, even if you feel healthy.
Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so be sure to have it checked on a regular basis.
Get your cholesterol checked. Your health care team should test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years.
Eat a healthy diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid CVD and its complications. You can find tips and information at choosemyplate.gov.
Maintain a healthy weight. If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC's Assessing Your Weight Web site.
Exercise regularly. Remember to incorporate exercise into your day in different ways: take the stairs instead of the elevator, or rake the yard instead of using the leaf blower, or skip the movie and popcorn and visit one of Macomb County’s beautiful parks and get some exercise. Adults need to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, at least five days a week.
Don't smoke. If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, quit as soon as possible. For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see Michigan Department of Community Health Smoke Free Resources web site or Smokefree.gov.
Limit alcohol use. Men should stick to no more than two drinks per day and women to no more than one.
Manage your diabetes. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar levels closely and talk with your health care team about treatment options.
Take your medicine. If you're taking medication to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or another condition, follow the instructions carefully. Try not to become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer to a healthier heart and every healthy choice makes a difference.
Compiled by the Macomb County Health Department