February is widely known as American Heart Month, a timely reminder to focus on cardiovascular health. Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, according to the American Heart Association.
Physicians, and the entire team at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s Heart and Vascular Center, are dedicated to helping patients improve their heart health and prevent disease.
Dr. Michael Shapiro, cardiologist at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and professor of cardiology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, believes prevention is key in lowering the risk of heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.
“Living a heart-healthy lifestyle and knowing simple factors like cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and family history can be a big help in identifying potential risks and prevent further issues in people who already have cardiovascular disease,” Shapiro said. “Although February is heart month, it is important to take care of yourself year-round.”
Heart healthy habits can be simple additions to your everyday routine like counting your steps and choosing healthier meals.
5 Heart Healthy Tips:
- Count your steps and increase physical activity
- Watch salt intake
- Limit saturated fat (found in meat, butter, heavy cream and cheese)
- Be mindful of alcohol intake
- Know your family history and get screened
“In many cases, heart disease is preventable,” Shapiro said. “That is why making small changes and incorporating healthy habits into your everyday routine can play a major role in saving someone’s life.”