This month is all about love, so why not show yourself a little love as well—by taking care of your heart.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, according to Health.gov. Cardiovascular diseases kill more than 50,000 Black women annually, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute—but the good news is that you can help lower your risk of heart disease.
Check out these top tips for ideas on how to help support your ticker, then get a free heart health screening at Minute Clinic® at CVS® , during the month of February, while supplies last!*
Get Your Cardio On
Nearly 59% of Black women ages 20 and older have cardiovascular disease, so it’s time to talk to your healthcare provider about getting those hearts pumping! The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week—but don’t worry, cardio doesn’t have to be hard. You can go running, cycling or jump rope, but you can also dance and walk too.
Eat Like You Love Yourself
Did you know that among Black women ages 20 years and older, nearly 58% have high blood pressure and only around 20% of those women have their blood pressure under control? A healthy diet filled with a variety of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and legumes can help prevent and manage cardiovascular diseases. Try your best to avoid salty or packaged, processed foods and– eating these foods less often can help lower or prevent high blood pressure. Also, a diet high in saturated fats can raise bad cholesterol —a. Swap out the butter and bacon for sources of unsaturated fats such as avocados and almonds. A splurge every now and then is totally OK; just don’t make it a habit. And don’t forget to stay hydrated; after all the average heart pumps thousands of gallons of blood each day. So, some H2O can be super helpful!
Rest Your Body and Your Mind
Most people should aim for 6-8 hours of sleep each night. The American Heart Association published a research study in 2011 that revealed poor sleep results in high blood pressure quality is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure —which in turn increases your heart disease risk. A good night’s sleep allows the brain and body to recover, which is beneficial for your heart health. So, why not extend those benefits to your mind as well? Turn off your devices and wind down before bed by journaling, meditating, or even taking a hot bath.
* FREE SCREENINGS: Beginning February 1st, while supplies last. Learn more at cvs.com/women.