Love Your Heart this Valentine's Day

Love Your Heart this Valentine's Day

High blood pressure is the most common underlying condition identified in San Diego County’s COVID-associated deaths.

And African Americans in the U.S. have a higher prevalence of high blood pressure (HBP) than other racial and ethnic groups. It is also often more severe in blacks, and some medications are less effective in treating HBP in blacks. High blood pressure usually has no symptoms. That’s why it’s called the “silent killer.” The only way to know if your blood pressure is high is to have your healthcare provider check it regularly. (American Heart Association - What About African Americans and High Blood Pressure?)

Here are a few steps you can take to be heart-healthy:

KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

Know your heart health numbers to screen and control for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. These numbers include your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and glucose and A1c levels. Talk to your doctor about getting checked. Visit www.heart.org/conditions to learn more about how to “know your numbers.”

GET ACTIVE

Perform moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes five days a week (you can also conduct three 10-minute sessions daily)—and make it fun! Try organizing a walking club with your friends and family. Get outside and enjoy the many beautiful trails and parks we have in San Diego County. Visit www.sdparks.org or call 858-694-3030 for more information.

EAT HEART-HEALTHY FOODS

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible – at least 5 servings each day, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and foods high in fiber. Avoid foods high in sodium, saturated and trans fats, and sugar. Visit www.heart.org/nutrition for healthy eating ideas.

AVOID TOBACCO

If you are a smoker, quit! For help quitting call the California Smokers Helpline at 800-NO BUTTS (800-662-8887) or visit www.smokefreesandiego.org. You can also text the word QUIT to IQUIT (47848) from your mobile phone to receive tips on how to stop smoking for good!

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RESOURCES

LOVE YOUR HEART – Blood Pressure Guide

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