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Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Show Your Heart a Little Love in February

During a month when love is celebrated, CenCal Health encourages community members to listen to their hearts and make their health a priority. To raise awareness about heart disease, CenCal Health is participating in American Heart Month by sharing heart health tips.

CenCal Health also participated in the American Heart Association’s 22nd annual Santa Barbara Go Red For Women Luncheon and Health Expo held at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara.

The Go Red For Women campaign urges women and men to learn about heart disease and what they can do to lower their risk factors.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the nation, and in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, CenCal Health reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates some 610,000 people die of heart disease in the U.S. each year, accounting for one in every four deaths. CDC lists coronary heart disease as the most common heart disease, which takes the lives of more than 370,000 people every year.

Annually, more than 730,000 Americans experience a heart attack, CDC said.

While the statistics may seem daunting, CenCal Health said there are simple, healthy lifestyle changes to lower the risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure, hypertension and other types of heart disease. Here are some tips:

» Eat a heart-healthy diet by incorporating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. Limit your intake when it comes to fatty foods and added sugars. Limit alcohol consumption. If told you have high blood pressure, avoid processed meats, salty foods, or adding extra table salt to food.

» Strengthen your heart and improve your physique by exercising regularly, ideally 30 minutes on most days each week.

» Learn to reduce stress. Positive habits like exercise, a healthy diet and relaxation techniques can help improve overall health and reduce behaviors that may contribute to heart disease.

» Don’t smoke. If you are a smoker, there is help and support to help you quit.

» The American Heart Association also recommends proper sleep as a key to better health overall. Experts recommend at least seven hours of sleep each night.

“Access to health education goes hand-in-hand with access to high quality medical services for our community, and we have a lot to share,” said Bob Freeman, CEO of CenCal Health.

“If we all follow these steps, especially those of us at risk, and become more conscious of our heart health, we can help lower the number of lives taken by heart disease each year,” he said.

More tips and resources for heart health and other in-demand health topics are available at CenCal Health’s online Health & Wellness section

— Caitlin Trude/Juliana Minsky for CenCal Health.


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