February is American Heart Month, and it is the perfect time to make healthy lifestyle changes that support heart health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Heart disease can affect anyone, but certain groups are more at risk. African Americans have the highest risk.

On Feb. 3, employees across the system at Lancaster General Health wore red to promote awareness about heart disease and the importance of healthy habits for prevention. There are many simple things that you can do to improve your heart health and reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke. 

First, do not smoke. If you currently smoke, LG Health has many free programs to help you quit, including one-on-one counseling and a “Freedom from Smoking” group class. You can also call the PA Quitline at 1-800-784-8669 or text the word QUIT to 47848 from your mobile phone for help. 

Other ways to help your heart is to add movement to your daily routine. Start with five minutes at a time and gradually work up to 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. For walking and biking trails near you, visit http://www.explorepatrails.com/.

Your heart will appreciate improved nutrition! Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. For healthy recipes, visit our recipe blog at www.lightenuplancaster.org.

Finally, remember to see your doctor on a regular basis and when you’re there, talk about other ways you can improve your heart health.

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