COWELL: February is Heart Health Month

Did you know that February is National Heart Health Month?

Hayley Cowell

It is important to bring awareness to this issue since heart disease is the number one killer in both America and right here in Stanly County.

While this is devastating news, it is empowering to know that we can reduce the risk of heart disease simply by living a healthy lifestyle and choosing healthy habits such as (1) eating nutritious foods, (2) getting physical activity, (3) not smoking, (4) maintaining a healthy weight and (5) managing stress.

These five habits are not listed in any particular order; they are all important in order to maintain a lifestyle that will reduce risk of chronic disease.

If you are just now getting started on your wellness journey, try not to over-complicate it.

Instead take it one step at a time and break it down into simple, manageable steps.

Think about what you can do now and also tell others about it for extra accountability. It even helps if you can get a friend or family member on board to make healthy changes with you.

In addition, we have so many great resources right here in our county to lean on for support and education.

Speaking of support and education relating to chronic disease reduction, I personally teach nutrition, cooking and physical activity programs in our county throughout the year for free. If you are interested in the programs I am currently teaching or want to see if I could offer something for a group you are already a part of, please reach out to me at the N.C. Cooperative Extension office at 704-983-3987.

Hayley Cowell is the family and consumer sciences agent for the Stanly County Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension.