STAMFORD, Conn. — The city of Stamford is celebrating American Heart Month in February and wants residents to be aware of risk factors.
“Thousands of lives could potentially be saved each year by simply controlling high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, eliminating cigarette smoking, eating healthy, increasing physical activity, and educating the public about the signs and symptoms of heart attack and stroke,” Anne Fountain, the city's director of Health and Social Services, said in a news release.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the country, but can be preventable in most people, the release said.
Here are tips from the city for avoiding heart disease:
- Encourage everyone to eat well-balanced meals, including (steamed, boiled, grilled or baked) lean meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and low fat products. Provide at least five daily servings of vegetables and fruit.
- Offer water, low fat milk or fresh, unsweetened fruit juices rather than soft drinks.
- Include fruit or vegetables in your children’s school lunch or snack.
- Make sure you don’t consume excess salt, especially through processed foods.
- Plan more family activities outside. Add 30 minutes of regular physical activity daily and build physical activity into day-to-day chores. Take the stairs rather than the escalators or elevators, for example.
- Make your home smoke-free and try to ensure that your children don’t smoke or experience tobacco smoke anywhere else.
- As a family member, set a good example by eating healthy, being physically active on a regular basis and by not smoking.