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By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna

February 6, 2017 (San Diego) -- Did you know there are over 2 million heart attacks and strokes each year resulting in 800,000 deaths and even more depilating injuries?

Valentine’s Day is coming up, so besides the chocolate and flowers, consider the best gift you can give someone this year is a commitment to a healthy heart! This is a great gift to give (and receive) to any loved ones in your life. I promise, they want YOU more than candy or flowers!

This best gift to give is a commitment to:

  • Stop smoking. Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a person can do to live longer
  • Cut down on salt. Too much salt can cause high blood pressure, which increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease
  • Watch your diet. A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and can also help increase the chances of survival after a heart attack
  • Monitor your alcohol. Too much alcohol can damage the heart muscle, increase blood pressure and also lead to weight gain
  • Get active. The heart is a muscle and it needs exercise to keep fit so it can pump blood efficiently round your body with each heart beat. Check with your doctor first before starting a rigorous exercise program
  • Manage your weight. Carrying a lot of extra weight as fat can greatly affect your health and increases the risk of life-threatening conditions such as coronary heart disease and diabetes
  • Get your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked
  • The higher your blood pressure, the shorter your life expectancy. Learn to manage your stress levels
  • Check your family history. Many times our past (family history) predicts our future
  • Get a checkup and follow your physician's advice

Learn to know the warning signs. Tightness or discomfort in the chest, neck, arm, or stomach that comes on when you exert yourself but goes away with rest may be the first sign of angina, which can lead to a heart attack if left untreated.  

For more information, contact your physician and visit:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

*Note: The information in this article was compiled from various sources. These suggestions are not a complete list of every preventative or loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace additional safety manuals or the advice of another qualified professional(s). We make no guarantee of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.


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