February is American Heart Month, so why not give yourself a Valentine’s Day gift this year – the gift of heart health! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but you don’t have to be a part of this statistic. Take these simple steps to keep your heart healthy for many years to come:• Quit smoking – smoking raises your blood pressure, which increases your heart disease risk. Visit smokefree.gov for resources and support if you are ready to quit! • Skip the salt – use spices or fresh herbs to season your food instead of reaching for the salt shaker. You may even find that your tastes change over time as you use salt less frequently! • Get moving – Exercise is good for your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, energy level, and mood! Try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity (i.e., brisk walking) 5 times a week. • Schedule an appointment – even if you don’t think you’re sick, it’s important see your doctor for routine checkups. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your heart health! Remember that no matter what health topic we’re discussing, you can always make changes and take charge of your health. Talk to your doctor at your next appointment about how to start becoming a healthier you. This article is not intended to provide professional medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, always consult your primary care physician.