February is American Heart Month, a time to motivate people to adopt healthy habits to prevent heart disease. According to the CDC, one person dies from heart disease every 36 seconds, making it the “leading cause of death in the United States.” One in every four deaths are from heart disease in this country. This is why it is so important to spread awareness about healthy heart living. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) suggests multiple strategies we can utilize to take care of our hearts, including:
- Increasing physical activity – Inactivity can double our likelihood of developing heart disease, which is why it is so beneficial to aim to move for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) a week.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet – Diets that have low sodium and saturated fat are crucial to preventing heart disease. The NHLBI recommends the DASH diet, which we have many books on at the library!
- Know and control your heart health numbers – keeping track of your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels are crucial for a health heart.
- Get quality sleep and reduce stress – Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
- Stop smoking – Smoking is bad for you in all kinds of ways. It’s hard to quit, but many have succeeded before, and so can you. We have many resources at the library to help!
- Maintain a healthy weight – Losing only 3% to 5% of your current weight can lower triglycerides and glucose levels in your blood, as well as your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing more can also improve your blood pressure.
We wanted to highlight some resources available at the library to help you show your heart some love. Stop by and check one out, or place a hold on any of these titles by following the corresponding link:
- The New American Heart Association cookbook by the American Heart Association
- La guía de buena salud para un corazón sano Jane L. Delgdado; prólogo por John C. Lewin
- The buena salud guide for a healthy heart by Jane L. Delgado ; foreword by John C. Lewin
- Cleveland Clinic healthy heart lifestyle guide and cookbook by Bonnie Sanders Polin and Frances Towner Giedt ; foreword by Steven E. Nissen
- DASH diet for two : 125 heart-healthy recipes to lower your blood pressure together by Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN ; photography by Hélène Dujardin
- Controlling high blood pressure through nutrition, nutritional supplements, lifestyle, and drugs by Mark C. Houston and Lee Bell
- Pump : a natural history of the heart by Bill Schutt ; illustrations by Patricia J. Wynne