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    Valentine’s Day is usually celebrated with rich desserts, champagne and lots of chocolate. However, while heart shaped cards and gifts are often a part of Valentine’s day, many of the traditions and treats are not good for your actual heart. Since February is also National Heart Month, this Valentine’s Day is a great time to take control of your heart health.

    Every year, around 610,000 people die of heart disease, making it the number one killer of men and women in the U.S. Despite these statistics, heart disease is often preventable, and adopting positive lifestyle changes could help you prevent heart disease in the future. Here are some ways you can take Valentine’s Day to heart this year and start preventing heart disease in your own life. 

    Limit Red Meat and Unhealthy Fat

    Valentine’s Day can seem like the perfect time to indulge in a big steak dinner. However, if you cut down on red meats and unhealthy fats, your heart will thank you. Instead, take your loved one out for a seafood dinner or even to a new Mediterranean spot in town. Both fish and Mediterranean cuisine have been proven to help prevent heart disease later in life.

    Reduce Chocolate and Sugar Consumption

    If your idea of Valentine’s Day includes sweet cocktails and even sweeter candy hearts, perhaps this is the year to mix things up. Luckily, being health conscious doesn’t mean you have to cut out all sweets and alcohol, however. Dark chocolate and red wine have actually indicated positive results for your heart when consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate can help lower your blood pressure, and a daily glass of red wine for women or men has shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events over time. However, if you are taking medication for blood pressure, it is important to avoid alcohol all together.  

    Plan an Active Evening

    The best thing you can do for your heart is to never stop being active. Living a sedentary lifestyle dramatically increases your risk for certain health conditions, particularly diabetes and heart disease. To combat this, plan a fun, active evening with your Valentine by strolling around a local park, bicycling through the city or going ice skating together. You could even take your date dancing to make this Valentine’s Day full of romance and movement.

    Plan a Stress-Free Date

    If you find yourself easily stressed from day to day, you could be putting yourself at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke. And if coming up with the perfect Valentine’s Day agenda is only adding to the stress, consider opting for a relaxing, stress-free date. Unwind with a soothing massage for two, an evening of stargazing on a blanket, or a nice night in with a nutritious, home cooked meal. Finding a way to unwind will help your mental health, wellbeing and hopefully prevent a cardiovascular event in the future.

    Visit Your Cardiologist Regularly

    Regular visits to your cardiologist are very important in preventing heart disease and ensuring your future health for many Valentine’s Days yet to come. Your cardiologist will help you better understand your risk factors and what habits you should implement into your life for optimal heart health. Additionally, you should never stop taking your heart medications unless instructed by your physician. Schedule an appointment with your nearest CVG today!Return

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