Southeast District Health Department offers heart-healthy tips

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

Feb. 1 marked the beginning of American Heart Month 2020. Heart disease can lead to heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and is the leading cause of death for both men and women, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths nationally each year. The top risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Smoking

  • High cholesterol

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure

  • Physical inactivity

  • Obesity

  • Uncontrolled diabetes

  • Poor diet

  • Excessive alcohol use

Southeast District Health Department wants to encourage everyone to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. While some people are at higher risk than others, there are small things that everyone can do to reduce their risk for heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight

A healthy diet is an effective way to reduce your cholesterol, lose weight, and lower your blood pressure and blood sugar. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol, and foods that are high in fiber.

Get active

Being physically active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it help to improve your health numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight), it also helps to improve your mental health. The Surgeon General recommends that adults get 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity each week. These activities can include brisk walking, bicycling, low-impact aerobics, and swimming. Children and adolescents should get about 1 hour of physical activity every day.

Quit smoking and reduce alcohol consumption

Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption can also help to significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, and many other chronic health conditions. There are many resources available if you or a loved one need help in quitting smoking or reducing alcohol intake.

For more information, contact the Southeast District Health Department at 1-877-777-0424 or visit