Wellness Wednesday: Leading a heart healthy lifestyle

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February is American Heart Month, which is a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer in Americans. Heart disease is influenced by genetics, but Dr. Jose Teixeira with Regional Health says we have a lot of control over it by leading a healthy lifestyle. He says smokers have to quit, and people with high-blood pressure need to get things under control.

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"50 percent of people with high blood pressure are not adequately controlled."

Teixeira also recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week.

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"You could do 30 minutes, five times a week, or you could even do an hour, three times a week. The benefit will be the same. And you have to improve your nutrition. If you do all these things, it will bring the weight down - what we call the Body Mass Index, the BMI - down to close to normal.”

The doctor reiterates that it's still recommended to get cardiac screenings, especially if heart disease is in your genetics. But leading a heart healthy lifestyle is key.

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For more information on leading a heart healthy life, visit the American Heart Association’s website here.

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