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Get your heart in shape

02/1/2018

It’s always a great time to evaluate your relationship with your heart. If you want to reduce your risk for heart disease, think about taking a holistic approach to strengthening your heart—and the rest of your body while you’re at it!

Roughly half of all Americans have risk factors of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. You increase your risk for heart disease if you:

  • smoke,
  • have high blood pressure,
  • drink more than one or two alcoholic beverages per day,
  • have high LDL cholesterol,
  • are overweight or obese,
  • don't exercise or
  • have diabetes. 

Reducing risk makes the heart—and body—grow stronger

To protect your heart, make the changes that address each and every risk factor you have, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to changing habits that contribute to heart disease (see list above), one healthy thing you can do is eat fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fish is a good source of protein and doesn’t have the high saturated fat found in fatty meat products. Fish that are good sources for omega-3 fatty acids include lake trout, albacore tuna, sardines and salmon.

Of course, change takes time. Be patient with yourself. Start slowly and get support if you need it.

HealthSelect of Texas offers a number of wellness programs that can help you help your heart.

And don’t forget to schedule a checkup

Make an appointment with your doctor for a thorough checkup and work together to help achieve your heart healthy goal. Remember to ask questions about your chances of developing heart disease and ways to lower your risk.

Contact a Personal Health Assistant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas toll-free at (800) 252-8039 Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. central time to find an in-network doctor.

Source: American Heart Association

A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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