Valentine’s Day is a great time to celebrate love and can be a reminder to make healthy choices part of your everyday life. Whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day on your own or with someone else, take steps to be a healthy valentine.
Be Active and Eat Healthy
Plan an activity that encourages physical fitness. Regular physical activity can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, improve mental health and mood, and increase your chance of living longer. Adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes total) of activity each week. You can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. It’s about what works best for you, as long as you’re doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Treat yourself and loved ones to a meal that includes healthy options and foods low in saturated fat and salt, and limit sweets. Nutrition plays an essential role in maintaining overall health.
Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol use can lead to long-term health problems, including heart disease and cancer. If you do choose to drink, do so in moderation, which is no more than one drink a day for women and up to two for men. Do not drink at all if you are pregnant, under the age of 21, or have health problems that could be made worse by drinking.
Celebrate American Heart Month
Know your blood pressure and if it’s high, make control your goal. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries, which carry blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Work with your health care provider to come up with a plan to control your blood pressure.
Quit smoking, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smokers can receive free resources and assistance to help them quit by calling the 1-800-QUIT-NOW quitline (1-800-784-8669) or by visiting CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers.
Learn the most common symptoms of a heart attack and call 9-1-1 immediately if these symptoms occur. The five major symptoms of a heart attack are:
Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back,
Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint,
Chest pain or discomfort,
Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder, and
Shortness of breath.
Prevent the Spread of Germs and Infections
Wash your hands often, get a flu vaccine, and avoid close contact with someone that is sick.
Prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancies. To lower your risk, abstain from sex or if you do choose to have sex use protection.
Be Safe and Avoid Injury
Be prepared for winter weather. Storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous for your health and safety. Plan ahead and prepare your home and car. Make sure your heating systems are working and that you have water and foods that don’t need cooking or refrigeration in case of a power outage.
Avoid distracted driving and get to your Valentine’s Day plans safely. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.