Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Take Control Of Your Heart Health With Four Simple Steps

(NAPSI)-You have tremendous power to prevent heart disease--the #1 killer of women--and you can start right now.

One-third of women underestimate their own risk for heart disease and most fail to make the connection between risk factors and their chance of developing heart disease. In fact, if you have just one risk factor--such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking or being overweight--your risk of heart disease doubles.

The good news is that you can lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent by leading a healthier lifestyle. The Heart Truth, a national awareness campaign for women, has four simple weekly activities to help you take action to control your heart health. This month, get serious about your heart health by doing one of these suggested activities per week:

Week 1: Eat for heart health. Choose a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, and moderate in total fat. Prevent and control high blood pressure by cutting down on salt and other forms of sodium. In cooking and at the table, flavor foods with herbs, spices, wine, lemon, lime, vinegar or saltfree seasoning blends instead.

Week 2: Get moving. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most--preferably all--days of the week. Take a walk or dance to your favorite music. A little activity goes a long way in maintaining a healthy weight.

Week 3: Spread the word. Spread the heart health message to three women in your life. One in four American women dies of heart disease. Help those closest to you know their personal risk for heart disease by urging them to talk to their doctor about their blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and body mass index numbers.

Week 4: Set a heart health goal. Set one specific, achievable heart health goal for yourself to help keep up the good work throughout the year. It could be walking more, eating more foods high in fiber or quitting smoking.

The Heart Truth is a national campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The campaign introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness.

To learn more about women and heart disease, visit www.hearttruth.gov.

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