Greensboro, NC -- February is American Heart Month and WFMY News 2 wants you to live a healthier, heart-happy life.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women.
With the help of Women's Health Magazine, we've come up with a list of 5 things you can do to have a healthier heart.
1. Talk to your doctor. Ask if you have high cholesterol, high blood sugar, or any signs of diabetes.
2. Know your family's history. You have a higher risk or heart disease if someone else in your family has had it. If both of your parents had heart disease, you have an 82% chance of getting it.
3. Try to cut the fat out of your diet. That means easing up on the butter, meat and whole-fat dairy products that you eat. Also, trans fats should be out of your diet too.
Try to eat more veggies, fish and fruit. Look for colorful foods like blueberries, tomatoes, spinach and pomegranates because they are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants have an anti-inflammatory effect on blood vessels and help get rid of plaque build up in the arteries, which keeps vessels clear.
Oranges, bananas and mushrooms help regulate blood pressure because they are high in potassium.
Fish like salmon, sardines and rainbow trout have omega 3 fatty acids which help decrease blood pressure.
4. Exercise. You don't have to do a grueling workout, but simply move your feet. Walking for 30 minutes a day can help strengthen your heart because exercising increases the "good" cholesterol and lowers "bad" cholesterol.
5. Quit smoking. We all know how bad smoking is for your health, but just to remind you, smoking narrows your heart's arteries, raises blood pressure and thickens your blood. This makes for the perfect recipe for a heart attack.