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High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. It can be hard to detect, as it often shows no signs or symptoms. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. have high blood cholesterol.

February is American Heart Health Month. Here’s how #MainStreetMedicalClinic is spreading heart health awareness in 2020. #AmericanHeartHealthMonth #HeartHealthMonth Click To Tweet

It’s a common misconception that heart disease only occurs in older adults. The truth is that heart disease is happening to younger adults more frequently–due to conditions leading to heart disease happening at a young age. Take the appropriate steps this American Heart Health Month as we approach February towards learning about the risks of heart disease and how you can keep your heart healthy.

Talk About Your Heart

It’s important to talk about and understand the impact that high blood cholesterol can have on your heart. You can prioritize your health and take preventive actions by having important conversations about your heart health with your loved ones and health care providers. Discussing these things will familiarize you with how you can prevent and manage high blood cholesterol.

Most importantly, be honest with your doctor! They can’t help you if you give them false or incomplete information. Be open about your health history and any problems you’re having. The doctor wants you to get better as much as you do.

Are You at Risk for Heart Disease?

Several factors will increase your chances of developing heart disease:

  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Lack of exercise
  • Diabetes
  • Untreated depression or other mental illness

If you’ve had any of these problems in the past or are experiencing them right now, get in touch with your doctor to assess your risk for heart disease. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Take Control of Your Heart Health

The most important thing to remember is that you are in control of your own health. Let’s look at a few ways you can improve your habits to better your health:

  • Change your diet: Choose foods with little fat, minimal sugar, and minimal sodium. Try to make at least half of each meal fruits and/or vegetables.
  • Quit smoking: Work on kicking the habit. If you already don’t smoke, don’t start!
  • Increase activity: Aim for at least half an hour of physical activity every day, and work your way up from there.
  • Health management: Work with your doctor to care for any chronic conditions you may have, including mental illness, high cholesterol, or obesity. Stay on schedule with any prescriptions and keep yourself informed of your own health.

Pro Tip: Preventing heart disease is as simple as focusing on your own health and making good changes. It may take time to improve, but you can do it!

American Heart Health Awareness in February 2020

This February, take a close look at your overall health and its effects on your heart. While small, seemingly harmless things could be having a negative impact on your health, even making a few seemingly insignificant changes could improve your health with time. Stay focused on your goal and work your way toward better health!

Join the conversation to learn more about managing your heart during American Heart Health Month 2020.