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February is American Heart Month – it’s time to show your heart some love!

We have compiled a list of tips for keeping your heart strong and healthy. Even the smallest of lifestyle changes can go a long way when it comes to heart health.

1. Exercise regularly

This may be one of the more obvious pieces of advice, but it’s extremely important. Living a sedentary or inactive lifestyle takes a toll on your heart. Make sure to stay moving every day, even if it’s just a walk during your lunch hour or choosing to take the stairs over the elevator.

2.  Avoid excess salt and fat

Things like salt and trans fats are terrible for your heart. Instead of salt, flavor your foods with natural herbs and spices. Avoid foods with trans and saturated fats, like fried foods, cream sauces and fatty meats. Increase the healthy fats you eat, such as avocados, nuts and fish high in Omega-3.

3. Monitor your blood pressure

Knowing your numbers can help you avoid major heart issues or cardiac events before they happen. Make sure to have your blood pressure checked at least once a year. This will help you and your doctor keep track and reduce your risk of any complications.

4. Manage stress

Avoiding all stress can be difficult, but stress management and getting a good night’s sleep can help keep your heart healthy by preventing high blood pressure and other factors that can impact your heart health.

UCF Health offers primary care and cardiology care to help patients live a heart-healthy life.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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