Move It Monday: Saving a Million Hearts™

Take care of your heart -- and that of your pets!

Take care of your heart — and your pets’ heart health, too!

Every now and then, I will use these posts to make a special statement.

Today is the language of “red.” On Friday, women throughout the United States donned their red dresses to make a statement about heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Heart disease is responsible for 1 of every 3 deaths in our country. Strokes are the fourth leading cause of death.

Dear friends, this is just unacceptable!

So, during February which is Heart Month, we need to pay attention to the Million Hearts™ initiative. The goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. One of those hearts might be yours! Or mine!

We all know that a healthy lifestyle contributes to good heart health. That means a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables, those great foods that too many of you ignore. You need to stop smoking, if you do. You need to learn the numbers of your  blood pressure and your cholesterol, which your doctor or other health care provider can test for you. And, of course, it also means getting your feet out the door for some physical activity.

That’s why it’s good to have a precious pooch like me. We need walks, too, for our heart health.

Let’s make a promise to get your two feet and our four paws out the door and moving.

By moving it together, we’ll all be healthier and happier!

And, best news of all, some very important people who study all of this have found that pet owners have a lower risk of dying from any cardiac disease, including heart failure! Check this out and see for yourself: http://pets.webmd.com/ss/slideshow-pets-improve-your-health.

To learn more about the Million Hearts™ initiative, visit http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/index.html.

And for my young readers, visit http://www.letsmove.gov/kids to get some great ideas from First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. What’s the first step that you and your family can make to get on the right track for your heart health?

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