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3 minute read |

Take These 5 Small Changes to Heart and Reap the Life-Long Benefits

February is American Heart Month

This heart month, let's get going on some changes you can make right now to be stronger and live longer.

These 5 easy steps will get you started. Share them with all the employees at your company. Younger or older, male or female, from every walk of life – it’s the heart that keeps us all going!

1. Schedule a preventive healthcare visit and bring these questions with you.

Even if you don't feel like you're sick, it's important to get regular checkups. If you have a Healthstat clinic, getting to an appointment will be a whole lot easier. But whether you visit Healthstat or a primary care provider in your area, talk openly with your healthcare team. No one knows your health history better than you do. And no one else can tell how you are really feeling. Remember, your healthcare providers will never share your personal health information with anyone unless you tell them to.

Bringing a list of questions can be useful to help you remember everything you want to talk about. If your provider says something you’re not sure you understand, repeat back what you heard in your own words. Ask for information to take home with you. And be sure to get a follow-up appointment on the books if you need one.

2. Don't mess around with your medications.

Are you concerned you might be told to take cholesterol or blood pressure medication? Click here to help separate myth from fact. And if you do take prescription medication, some simple tips may help you take it correctly.

Putting your medication in a "days of the week" pill holder can help you remember if you've taken it. You can set an alarm to remind you to take it at the right time of day. Or link taking your medication to something you really do as regularly as clockwork. Be sure never to stop taking your medication without talking to your healthcare provider. Don't be afraid to ask for help, or talk about any side effects or reactions you feel.

Who can help answer your questions? Talk to your Healthstat clinician if your employer offers a workplace clinic. Or ask your primary care doctor or pharmacist. Many insurance companies also provide help that you can reach through the telephone number on your insurance card.

3. Walk your way to a longer life.

Add years to your life and life to your years by sitting less and moving more. You can start easy by walking for 15 minutes 3 times a week. After a couple of weeks, make those walks last for 30 minutes. Or try to do 2 walks of 15 minutes each, maybe once before work and once after dinner. And if you build up to 30 minutes of walking 5 times a week, your life expectancy will increase by years!

4. Eat more 'good-for-you' food.

Eat more meals you make at home with healthy ingredients. It's critical for adults and kids, and it doesn't have to be difficult. Aim to cook at home at least 3 days a week. Find easy, heart-healthy, recipes here in flavors from a variety of cultures.

Whatever the flavor you favor, be sure to get enough fruits and vegetables. Fresh and frozen, fruits and veggies fill you up with healthy nutrients. And adding in herbs and spices will let you eat with more soul and less salt. Even dining out doesn't have to be dangerous. From fast food to fine dining, Healthstat clinicians can help you order healthier versions of the foods you love.

5. Make a quit plan.

If you smoke cigarettes, quitting can reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke. It takes only 20 minutes from your last cigarette for your heart rate and blood pressure to drop. And within 1 year, you have 1/2 the risk of coronary heart disease that a smoker has. That's not all. Click here to learn more about the physical improvements you'll experience after you quit.

Healthstat has successful programs for helping people give up smoking for good.

This American Heart Month, contact us to talk about how we can help you improve the heart health of your employee population.

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