Well Being

Love Your Heart

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You read about Wear Red Day, but it's still American Heart Month. And there are several ways to love your heart to help defeat the number one killer of women: heart disease.

While some risk factors for heart disease like family history and age can't be changed, you still have control over other areas like blood pressure and weight.

Lower High Blood Pressure

Know your blood pressure and work with your doctor to lower it if necessary. While medication may be necessary for some people, there are ways to lower blood pressure naturally.

Lowering your sodium intake is very important to keeping blood pressure in check. Watch for sodium content in processed foods and while dining out. Opt for fresh vegetables, meat and poultry rather than processed or canned foods that contain more sodium. When you do buy canned food, look for items with reduced sodium or no salt added. Also, be sure to read labels for sodium content, paying attention to serving sizes.

Other ways to lower blood pressure naturally include exercise, meditation and even sex.

Lower Your Weight

Being overweight is a heart disease risk factor that's in your control, even if it's difficult to manage. The first step is talking to your doctor about your healthy weight goal. Then, avoid crash diets which never yield long-term results. There are plenty of diet plans out there, but you need to find what works for you. A good place to start is by lowering your calorie intake, avoiding soft drinks and increasing physical activity.

Besides getting control of your blood pressure and weight, quitting smoking, working to reduce high blood cholesterol and becoming more physically active are other ways to help your heart be happy and stop the number one killer of women.

Valentine's Day is a great time to commit to loving your heart more!

(Image via stock.xchng)

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