Make A Date With Your Heart! February is American Heart Month, and Valentine’s Day is a great time to start taking steps to be heart-healthy.
- Prevent and control high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
- Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.
- Limit alcohol use.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Be active.
- Eat healthy.
Consider making a healthy meal for Valentine’s Day. Serve food lower in salt and fat content, provide more fruits and vegetables, and make less sugary sweets for an overall healthy Valentine’s Day.
Spread love, not germs.
Protect yourself from the cold and flu.
- Wash hands often.
- Avoid close contact when you or someone you know is sick.
- Get your flu vaccine.
Prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies.
- Abstain from sex.
- If you choose to have sex, use latex condoms which can lower the risk for some STIs and unintended pregnancy.
- Having a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner may help lower your risk.
Be prepared for travel.
If you are going on a romantic getaway, be prepared.
- Are vaccinations required?
- Are there special items such as sunscreen or insect repellent that you will need?
- If you take medications, do you have enough for the trip?
- If you’re going on a cruise, learn the sanitation inspection scores for specific ships. Know what’s happening en route or at your travel destination.
Go easy on the bubbly.
If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions. It is also the third leading cause of preventable death. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should not drink any alcohol.
Gear up. Are you considering a new, potentially risky, or unsafe activity? Be sure to use appropriate safety gear, including seat belts, life vests, and helmets to help prevent injury.
Watch the sparks. If you decide to cook a romantic dinner, light some candles, or have a cozy fire, don’t leave them unattended.
Be aware. Women are more likely to be victims of sexual violence, including intimate partner violence, than men. Risk factors such as drinking alcohol and using drugs are associated with a greater likelihood of violence.