American Heart Month: Affordable Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

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Posted on 02/10/2012

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke. Now is the time to fight back. February is American Hearth Month and with these affordable, simple steps, you can begin to improve your heart health.


Determine Your Risk for Heart Attack Find out how likely it is that you’ll have a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease during the next decade. The free Heart Attack Risk Calculator is part of the Million Hearts campaign, an effort to reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes by one million over the next five years.


Take Aspirin
For many people, taking aspirin every day can reduce your chances of a heart attack, but the CDC says you should talk to your doctor before doing it. If your doctor provides the green light, head to the drugstore armed with coupons like this one that will save you $1.50 off Bayer aspirin.


Keep Sodium Intake Down
According to the Mayo Clinic, dietary guidelines suggest keeping sodium intake down to 2,300 mg a day. That limit drops to 1,500 mg a day if you’re over 51, black or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Get free help tracking your sodium intake by printing out this worksheet from organizedhome.com.


Stop Smoking
Smoking is a major contributor to heart disease. Improve your heart health by kicking the habit. Get assistance with the free LIVESTRONG.COM MyQuit Coach app. It lets you create a personalized plan to help you quit smoking. Set attainable goals and find out how much money you’ll be saving when you stop lighting up.


Cook Heart Healthy Recipes
Cooking recipes that your heart will love doesn’t have to cost more. Peruse dozens of free recipes from Mayo Clinic nutritionists at MaycoClinic.com. You may be surprised to see indulgent meals like cinnamon rolls, crispy potato skins and even cheesecake on the menu.


By Alison Storm


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