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Posted February 6, 2019 | 8:47 AM

Be Heart Smart during American Heart Month

How to keep your heart healthy in Hillsborough County

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases are the nation's leading cause of death. Approximately 844,000 people in the U.S. die each year from heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular illnesses. Though some people are at higher risk than others, most of the time cardiovascular disease is preventable. To help fight back, Hillsborough County Health Care Services has some easy ways to stay heart healthy in Hillsborough during American Hearth Month in February, and year round.

Eat healthy.
Eating healthy is all about choices. Build healthy meals like the Florida Cucumber and Tomato Salad or Florida Orange Glazed Shrimp from the local crops that are grown right here in Hillsborough County. Check out the dozens of homegrown crops you can find in your backyard and some delicious, healthy recipes that you can start cooking tonight.

Get active.
From running a 5K in Wortham Park to taking a Caribbean Cardio Fusion class at All People's Life Center, it doesn't matter what kind of activity you pick, all that matters is keeping up an active lifestyle. Being active doesn't mean you need to be an Olympic athlete. Figure out the level of activity you're comfortable with and use Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation resources to your advantage.

Manage stress.

Did you know having a pet in your life can provide a boost to your health and help ease anxiety? Learn about the benefits a pet, especially an adopted one from Pet Resource Center, can have on keeping you healthy, both physically and mentally.

Need more help staying on top of your overall health? Become a member of the Healthy Living Program where you will have access not only to state-of-the-art exercise equipment and group fitness classes, but also to nutritional counseling, education activities, and health screenings as well. For more guidance and additional resources for a healthy lifestyle, check out the County's Healthy Living Program.

Photo Information:Hillsborough County seniors take part in a race at a local park during the annual Active Life Games.

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