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DOH-Seminole Encourages Commitment to A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle for American Heart Month

February 05, 2019

Sanford, Fla. - February marks the beginning of American Heart Month, a federally designated month that is a great way to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and commit to a healthy lifestyle. By making lifestyle changes and eliminating their risk factors, Floridians can help fight one of the deadliest diseases in the state and the nation among both men and women-heartdisease.

National trends show heart disease death rates are declining more slowly than they have in the past, especially among adults ages 35 to 64. In many communities across the U.S., death rates are increasing among adults in this age group. Risk factors for heart disease include high blood pressure, tobacco use and high cholesterol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly half of all Americans have at least one of these three risk factors.

"Celebrate this month by taking steps to keep your heart and your loved one's heart healthy. You can take this opportunity to make some changes that will help prevent heart diseases, such as scheduling a visit with your doctor for a physical and learn your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol levels. Practice a physical activity you and your family can enjoy together and include some healthy substitutions in the kitchen," said Donna Walsh, health officer for the Florida Department of Health in Seminole County. "Making changes as an individual may encourage those around you to do the same."

The Florida Department of Health in Seminole County (DOH-Seminole) invites the community to join the new community yoga classes starting on Wednesday, February 6th and every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30pm at the DOH-Seminole office located at 400 West Airport Boulevard, Sanford, FL 32773. The community yoga classes are offered in partnership with Bendy & Balanced Yoga. Youth and adults are welcomed to join these free classes. Practicing Yoga offers an opportunity to increase physical activity and provides multiple benefits, including: helping maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, and managing stress, among many other factors that can help improve heart health.

DOH-Seminole reminds Floridians of the five steps they can take to improve their heart health:

  • Quit Smoking: Cigarette smoking or using tobacco greatly increases your risk for heart disease;

  • Increase your physical activity: Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels;

  • Control your blood pressure: High blood pressure usually has no symptoms, so you need to make sure to have it checked on a regular basis;

  • Know your cholesterol: Your health care provider should test your blood levels of cholesterol at least once every five years; and

  • Eat heart healthy foods: Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.

Contribute to the prevention of heart attacks and strokes throughout Florida. Visit to learn more about other resources that can be used to prevent heart disease.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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