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February is Heart Health Month. Although National Wear Red Day – the first Friday of each February – has been established by the American Heart Association in an effort to raise awareness of the risk of heart disease in women, it is important to go beyond Wear Red Day and take action to reduce our personal risk of heart disease.
Research has shown that 80 percent of the cardiac events that occur can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Some can make the needed changes easily, but for many others, living a healthier lifestyle can be a challenge. I have had (and continue to have) struggles with changing bad health habits when it comes to eating right. I know how much of a fight it can be to make the change—dealing with stress or other life issues can provoke emotional eating, overeating, or choosing unhealthy snacks. However, when it comes to beating heart disease, change can be the cure. Therefore we must learn how to create a heart healthy wellness plan and dedicate ourselves to sticking to it.
Even though we know that a diet based on processed food, super-sized fast food, frozen food, fried food and all manner of snacks and desserts is not good for us – it is difficult for many to stick to heart healthy diet. A recent Heart Health survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic revealed that many people believe that the biggest culprit of unhealthy eating is the convenience of vending machines and/or fast food restaurants followed by lack of time and social gatherings.
But there are ways that we can fight back. Creating a heart healthy wellness plan by putting several practical and easy-to follow diet and lifestyle changes into our daily routine can help significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack as well as improve our overall health and well-being.
During a recent phone interview, Dr. Steven Nissen, Chairman of the Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, shared with me more information about the survey. He also gave expert advice on how how to create a heart healthy wellness plan, and offered some simple steps we can take daily to reduce our the risk of heart disease and get on the path to living a healthier lifestyle.
Remember that February is American Heart Health Month, which means it’s the perfect time to create a heart healthy wellness plan for not just getting heart healthy, but staying heart healthy for years to come!
Be sure to visit www.cle.clinic/loveyourheart get more information and tips to help you along your journey to better health.
how to create a heart healthy wellness plan
About Dr. Steve Nissen:
Listed as Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World – Scientists and Thinkers,” Dr. Steven Nissen has more than 35 years of experience as a physician. He is world-renowned for his work as a cardiologist, patient advocate and researcher. Dr. Nissen is often called on by pharmaceutical companies to consult on the development of new therapies for cardiovascular disease, and maintains a long-standing personal policy that requires the companies to donate all related honoraria directly to charity.
Dr. Nissen is currently the Chairman of the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.
I am proud to be a Go Red Blogger Ambassador for the American Heart Association, using social media to drive awareness of the fight against heart disease in women in order to live healthier, stronger and longer lives.