JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Each year more than 600,000 people die from it. We all know not to smoke and to watch what we eat, but when it comes to your heart it’s easy to slip-up. And sometimes, the steps we think are helping our heart can actually hurt it.
For example, many people believe that after a heart attack, they should not exercise at all. However, creating an exercise program with your doctor and sticking to it can strengthen your heart.
If you’re taking medication for your cholesterol, don’t take it with grapefruit juice. Studies show that the juice can interfere with certain medications if taken together.
Another common myth is that you’ll know when you need to get your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are silent conditions, so they should be checked regularly.
It’s important to be familiar with the warning signs of heart problems. If you notice abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty breathing or any unusual symptoms, you should consult with your doctor.
News4Jax, together with Baker-Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute and Walgreens, have put together the Take it to Heart Four Step Challenge, to help you and your family get heart healthy. On the fourth of every month, we take a moment to encourage you to sign up.
There are four steps to the challenge:
To sign up for the challenge, go to www.takeittoheartnow.org.