Recognizing American Heart Month

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As part of February's American Heart Month, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) joins the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in recognizing National Wear Red Day on February 2, 2007.

"National Wear Red Day is a great opportunity to reach out to women and men in the State of Florida and alert them about the dangers of heart disease," said Deputy State Health Officer Bonita Sorensen, M.D., M.B.A. "We urge all Floridians to learn about their personal risk factors so they may better prevent heart disease."

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Six factors can put an individual at higher risk for heart disease: high blood pressure, smoking, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, and diabetes. Each one of these risk factors can be modified through healthy lifestyle habits. The American Heart Association emphasizes, and the Florida Department of Health supports, the following healthy lifestyle habits:

Be smoke-free. If you currently smoke, get help to quit. Also avoid environmental tobacco smoke.
Be physically active. Strive for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g., brisk walking) on most, preferably all, days of the week.
Eat heart healthy foods. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, fish, legumes, and meats low in saturated fat.
Know your numbers. Visit your health care provider to find out if you have healthy levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight. If your levels are too high, find out what you can do to lower them.

National Wear Red Day is an annual event held on the first Friday in February. Both men and women can participate in this awareness movement by wearing a favorite red dress, shirt, or tie.

Florida Department of Health promotes and protects the health and safety of all people in Florida through the delivery of quality public health services and the promotion of health care standards.

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