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February for Heart Health

February for Heart Health
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By Manuel Munoz II and Dr. Robert L. Herron |

Happy Valentine’s Day! February encourages everyone to focus on Heart Health.

Everyone recognizes that the heart is an important organ as it pumps blood throughout our body via the circulatory system, to ensure our body’s ability to have the necessary molecules and nutrients to function.

Within the United States, heart disease is the number 1 leading cause of death for men, women, and most racial/ethnic groups. Several risk-factors contribute to the development of heart diseases such as obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, etc.

A beneficial way to improve cardiovascular health and overall health is to be physically active. Exercise really is medicine! Starting your journey to be more physically active is important. Any amount of activity will help improve your cardiovascular health – some is better than none, and more is better than less. According to the most-recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, guidelines for physical activity are 150 minutes a week of moderate intense activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. Moderate and vigorous training looks different for every individual but getting your activity level up can help reduce the likelihood of developing heart or chronic conditions. Moving for as few as 5 minutes can be a good start.

Physical activity plays a role in heart health, but your nutritional habits also matter. Enhancing your consumption of foods like grains, fruits/vegetables, and lean meats while limiting the number of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium can lead to an overall lower risk of heart disease. Changing your nutritional habits can be tough, but making active efforts to make better food choices, more often can have a long-lasting, positive impact on your health. During this February, we encourage you to focus on your heart health. If you are looking for a professional to help you get started, check our these databases for qualified Exercise Professionals and Registered Dietitians in your area!

Manuel Munoz II is a Junior undergraduate student at the University of Montevallo studying Exercise and Nutrition Science from Samson, AL. Manuel is the current Vice President of the Exercise Science Club at the University of Montevallo and has been recognized for being on the President’s List every year during his time at Montevallo.

Robert L. Herron, Ed.D., NSCA-CSCS*D, ACSM-CEP is an Assistant Professor in the Exercise and Nutrition Science Program at the University of Montevallo. Dr. Herron is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® with distinction from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CSCS*D®) and a Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM-CEP®). Dr. Herron is a graduate of the United States Sports Academy and serves as a Non-Resident Faculty Member.



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