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Did you know that 25 percent of deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease? Or that one out of three people in this country have high blood cholesterol? Heart disease is, in fact, the leading cause of death in men and women, but we can take steps to prevent the risk of heart attack and stroke. [1, 2]

We’ve all heard of ways to improve heart health. This month, we’re focusing on the following:

  • Managing Stress
  • Improving Mental Health
  • Improving Sleep Hygiene
  • Quitting Smoking

Managing Stress

It seems we’re all busy; too much to do every day. Work, school, family, athletics, clubs, and more. They’re all positive things in our lives, but can quickly take over and leave us feeling stressed out and overscheduled.

Take a look at the infographic below from the American Heart Association. [3] It includes 10 tips for combating stress.

Stop stress

Improving Mental Health

“Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.” [4] Depression, anxiety, and a host of other, common mental health factors can have a huge impact on our heart health. Even the food we eat affects our well-being.

One thing you may want to try is the 21 Days of Gratitude [5] challenge:

21 days of gratitude

Improving Sleep Hygiene

You may not think of improved sleep as a technique to improve your heart health, but according to the American Heart Association, the “amount and quality of sleep can influence your eating habits, mood, memory, internal organs and more.” [6]

To improve your sleep hygiene, follow the steps in the infographic below:

sleep hygiene tips

Quitting Smoking

If you’ve wanted to stop smoking, now’s the time. We all know that smoking comes with an increased risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Fortunately, you’re not alone—we can help you kick the habit once and for all.

Talk with your physician here at Horizon Family Medical Group about coming up with a plan. You may also want to visit our article: Make a Plan to Quit Smoking.


  1. https://healthfinder.gov/nho/februarytoolkit.aspx
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/american_heart_month.htm
  3. https://www.heart.org/-/media/aha/h4gm/pdf-files/stopstress_smaller.pdf?la=en&hash=01EEB091A858FC6ED7A6A3ADFAAACF6112426712
  4. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing
  5. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/21-days-of-gratitude-infographic
  6. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/sleep