It's American Heart Month!

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Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Latinos in the United States. Health problems that increase the risk of heart disease are common in Latino communities, including being overweight and having high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. And to top it off, people with poor cardiovascular health are also at increase risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

Hispanic/Latino women ages 20 and older in the United States: 78% are overweights, 35% have high blood pressure, 34% have high cholesterol, and 12% have been diagnosed with diabetes. And even though we have this demographics and information, I still see many Latina women live a sedentary lifestyle and not being cooperative or complaint with making lifestyle changes, checking their blood pressure at home nor taking medication. We have to do better, so let's start here by informing yourself how you can start taking action.

Here are a couple healthy lifestyle choices to keep in mind: 

1. Move each day (Aim for at least 2.5 hours of physical activity each week- that's just 30 minute a day, 5 days a week. In addition, do muscle strengthening exercises 2 days a week.)

2.  Follow a heart-healthy eating plan (having good nutrition meals can help lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. If you feel a little lost about where to start find out if there is a Nutritionist, Health Educator, Dietitian that can help you out) 

3.  Manage your stress!!!!!! (Take time for SELF CARE) 

4. Get good quality of sleep ( Try not to cut yourself short, you will feel it, try to practice a night routine)

5. QUIT smoking (Tobacco and Nicotine are contributing factors to heart disease. Find out if there are Smoking Cessation services in your area) 

And three additional step for individuals with diagnoses of high blood pressure 

6. Check your blood pressure at home 

7. Take prescribed medication as directed, 

(if your unclear about medication ask provider if they have medication 

adherence counseling or class services available)

8. Report progress with your primary care provider 

These small efforts can make a big difference to keeping your heart healthy! 

I hope this educational blog post raises your awareness of how to prevent heart disease. 

References: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute


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