February is the month of love, and we are celebrating by showing our hearts some love. It makes perfect sense that February is National Heart Month; a month dedicated to promoting awareness about heart disease and its prevalence. Heart disease affects millions of American’s every year and is the leading cause of death among men and women. Did you know that heart disease is responsible for the death of more people than all types of cancer combined? Defeating this killer depends on getting the word out, and spreading awareness as the first step in helping individual’s lead healthy lives and form heart-healthy habits. Fortunately, there are ways to help reduce your risk of heart disease. First of all, being physically active can dramatically reduce your risk of heart conditions. The American Heart Association suggests about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. Maintaining a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and choosing lean meats can also help decrease your risk. It is important to clear any new exercise routines or diets with your health care professional before starting. Stress can also play a major role in heart health. Although some stress is inevitable, managing your stress levels can help lower blood pressure and damage to the heart. It is also imperative to know your risk. If you are related to someone with a history of heart disease, your risk increases. If you know your family history, you can take action to decrease your risk by visiting a specialist early on. Help promote healthy hearts by spreading the word about American Heart Month this February and stay tuned to our Facebook page for tips on living heart healthy.