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February is heart health month and the perfect time to focus on cardiovascular wellness! The heart is recognized as one of the body’s most vital organs. This fist-sized organ fuels the entire body with life. That’s a pretty big responsibility! Implementing healthy choices is key towards prevention of heart disease and promotion of cardiovascular health. Empower yourself this month with proactive steps towards a healthy heart by introducing a diet low in cholesterol, exercising, smoking cessation, and scheduling annual examinations. 

Shine some love into your heart this month. Here are some Heart-Healthy Tips:

1. Stay active: Exercise is an important contributor to cardiovascular heath by promoting circulatory blood flow and healthy weight. Depending on your health needs, there are various exercise options to enhance physical activity. Consult with your physician for an exercise regimen that's suitable for your health needs. Here are some ideas: Yoga, Tai Chi, walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, and hiking.

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Before heading out to the grocery store take a minute and review these heart-healthy food choices. Don’t be caught by surprise with strange ingredients listed on products labels, or spend endless hours at the supermarket searching for healthy foods. Here are some ideas when creating your shopping list with food options that fuel your heart. 

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A recent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic linked hospital off-hours to increased death rates following a heart attack. Researchers reviewed an average of 2 million medical records, analyzing patient outcomes 30 days after experiencing a heart attack. Results demonstrated a 5-percent higher chance of death, for clients arriving to the hospital during weekends and evening shifts. Patients, who arrived to the hospital during off-hours, experienced a 15 minute longer wait time than patients admitted during weekdays and normal business hours. Could these tragedies have been a result of understaffed medical units?

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