Oswego County Health Department Offers Tips for Good Heart Health

OSWEGO COUNTY – February is American Heart Month and the Oswego County Health Department is taking the opportunity to provide tips for residents to maintain a healthy heart and lifestyle.

“This annual recognition promotes the understanding of cardiovascular health and the best practices to maintain a healthy heart,” said Oswego County Associate Public Health Educator Diane Oldenburg. “Even making the smallest changes can have a big impact on your heart health and overall well-being.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for most Americans and high cholesterol, high blood pressure and smoking are common factors that lead to poor cardiovascular health.

“Adopting a healthier lifestyle can help prevent heart disease,” said Oswego County Supervising Public Health Nurse Jennifer Purtell. “For example, including 30 minutes of physical activity in your day can improve blood circulation. Do this by walking your dog, taking a quick jog around the block, gardening or other activities that help you move and get your heart pumping.”

Making the following changes to diet can also improve heart health:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables for less artificial sugar and more vitamins and minerals such as fiber, potassium and Vitamin D.
  • Swap refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice for whole grains such as wheat bread, brown rice and oats for more fiber.
  • Include a variety of protein-rich foods such as eggs, poultry, beans, nuts and seeds.
  • Limit red meat consumption to avoid high levels of saturated fat, sodium and preservatives.
  • Include healthy fats and oils such as avocados, olives, nuts and seeds to help lower cholesterol.

Diet and exercise are not the only way to improve heart health. Quitting smoking plays a big role in overall health outcomes – especially cardiovascular disease.

“Smoking is one of the key risk factors leading to heart disease,” said Oldenburg. “This includes smoking, vaping and taking in second-hand smoke.”

For more information about heart health, or to request a free tobacco/vaping presentation, chronic disease self-management workshop or a diabetes self-management workshop, visit https://health.oswegocounty.com/ or call 315-349-3587.

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