BOSTON, MA – More than 83 million American adults, or 1 in 3 adults, is estimated to have one or more types of cardiovascular disease. For adult women, heart disease is the number one cause of death, claiming one woman’s life over the age of 20 every minute.

With February being American Heart Month, Faulkner HospitalÂ’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator, Sue Molloy is sharing tips on how to be heart healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • Stop smoking. Not only will this help your heart but it will help your overall health, as well.

  • Exercise aerobically. Walk, jog, swim, bike or do some form of aerobic exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. If you are not currently exercising, begin with 10 minutes a day then increase this by 5 minutes every week. Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and during the cold weather months many area malls offer specific times for walking groups.

  • Know your blood pressure. High blood pressure is the silent killer, meaning it has no symptoms. The ideal blood pressure is 120/80 or lower. If you blood pressure is anything over 140/90, you should speak to your doctor about ways to reduce it.

  • Know your lipid profile. This is cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. If your numbers are higher than recommended, you should speak to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment.

  • Eat right. Consuming low fat, low sodium foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish and whole grains will help you lead a healthy lifestyle.

  • Shed some weight. If you are overweight, lowering your weight by 10 percent over 6 months can help your blood pressure and lipid profile.

Certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), Faulkner HospitalÂ’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program focuses on exercise, education and support to help patients make exercise a life long activity and to give them the knowledge and tools necessary to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Faulkner Hospital is a 150 bed non-profit, community teaching hospital located in southwest Boston. Founded in 1900, Faulkner Hospital offers comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care, as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services.

For more information about Faulkner Hospital and its programs, visit www.faulknerhospital.org.

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