February is known as the month of love. But, did you know it’s also American Heart Month?

This month as you’re loving on your friends, family, and/or significant other, I encourage you to also give your heart–one of your body’s most important organs–a little extra TLC. 

The reason…

  • Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the USA. 
  • Every minute a heart attack fatality occurs. 
  • Minorities are half as likely to get preventive treatment for heart disease and African Americans are affected by heart disease at twice the rate of Caucasians. 
  • 14 million Americans have a history of heart attacks or angina.
  • Women under the age of 50 are twice as likely to die of a heart attack than men are.

(Stat credit: www.womensheart.org/)

If you haven’t thought much about your heart health at this point, don’t panic. There are many things you can do to improve your heart health and help prevent heart disease or a heart attack from developing. 

Here’s what I recommend…

Eat Less Salt

Eating too much salt throws off the balance in your bloodstream and reduces your kidney’s ability to remove water. 

This places a lot of stress on your blood vessels. In return, that stress causes high blood pressure which can quickly take a toll on your cardiovascular system. 

To avoid salt, opt for sodium-free options when cooking. Instead of seasoning food with salt, you can try a variety of other seasonings like rosemary, thyme, or garlic to add flavor. 

While we’re talking about food, it’s always important to eat a heart-healthy diet. This means cutting out…

  • Trans fats
  • Sugars
  • Processed foods 

…and eating more…

  • Healthy fats (i.e. nuts, avocados, fish oils)
  • Fruits and veggies 
  • High-quality proteins 

Get Moving

Your heart is a muscle. That means it needs to be exercised in order to keep it strong and healthy–exactly how you would need to do crunches to form a 6 pack of abs. 

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day helps keep your heart strong. 

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to do your heart good. Go on a walk in your neighborhood, join a yoga class, or take a daily hike in the woods. Any activity is a good activity. 

Reduce Stress Levels

Stress hinders your heart health in many ways. 

For example, people who are stressed often tend to…

  • Stress eat. 
  • Avoid exercising.
  • Smoke.
  • Excessively drink. 
  • Have increased adrenaline levels.

Instead of turning to these bad habits, reduce your stress in a healthier way by…

  • Calling a friend.
  • Meditating.
  • Going for a walk.
  • Booking a massage.
  • Getting your nails done. 
  • Whatever other activities you find enjoyable! 

It’s never too late to start on the path to a healthier heart. No excuses–get out there and get started! 

Before I wrap things up, I wanted to give you some insight into a few exciting things happening over here. 

Martin Luther King Event

On January 20, I enjoyed participating in an MLK event that was hosted by Global Citizens at Girard College, Philadelphia, PA.

I was an exhibitor and presented a workshop- Health & Wellness Trivia. It was a wonderful time! 

Magazine Features

In the month of January, I was featured in two magazines–Main Line Today and PhillyMag.com. 

The article featured content on how changing your weight will indefinitely change your life. 

Read the article here: https://www.phillymag.com/sponsor-content/local-bariatrician-weight-loss/

New Book Launch

Last, but not least, I’m excited to announce the virtual launch date party for my new book, Get Your Sexy Back: A Guide to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy.

In the book I offer advice on how to return to your best self after pregnancy, giving tips for losing weight while acknowledging that as a new mom, you will be incredibly busy. With chapters on the importance of mindfulness, eating healthy, fitness, adequate rest, lifestyle changes, and ways to maintain the weight loss after you’ve reached your goal, this book is incredibly helpful to moms who want to get their sexy back!

Want to join the party?

Find me on Facebook live on February 20, 2020, at 12 PM EST. 

Link to event: https://www.facebook.com/drjaninedarby

To join the event, please RSVP at www.drjaninebook.com

Yours in Health, 

Dr. Darby