The Beatles once sang “All You Need is Love.” That’s a nice sentiment, but even in this month that celebrates love, hearts and all things pink, it’s important to remember that your family’s health depends on more than love.
Aside from Valentine’s Day, February is also known for American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in this country, but there are steps you can take to help prevent it. Help fill your heart with love and health this month by following the tips below.
1. Eliminate stress.
Parenting is a big job. A piece of your heart is now wandering around outside your body as your kids go to school, learn, play and grow. Taking care of your children should be a top priority, but often the best way to love them is to take some time to care for yourself. Take a walk, a deep breath, a hot bath –whatever calms you down.
2. Don’t drink in excess.
The Centers for Disease Control says that excessive alcohol consumption can have long-term health effects on the body’s cardiovascular system, including atrial fibrillation and hypertension. Limiting your alcohol consumption can protect your heart and give an example of moderation for your kids.
3. Put out the cigarette.
Smoking doesn’t just cause problems in the lungs. The CDC estimates that smoking cigarettes increases you likelihood of having cardiovascular disease or a stroke by two to four times. Smoking can raise your blood pressure because of the damage it does to blood vessels. If you aren’t a smoker, don’t start. If you are a smoker, take advantage of the resources around you to help quit.
Your heart has a big job. It not only controls your body’s blood flow, but it also has a lot of loving to do. Protect both of the heart’s jobs by taking care of yourself and living free from stress and harmful substances, this month and always.
For more tips and information about substance abuse prevention, visit LiveFree! online at www.pinellascoaltion.com or find us on Facebook.