February has been named American Heart Month, to raise awareness of how heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States while still being the most preventable. The average heart beats 100,000 times a day and pumps blood through a network of vessels over 60,000 miles long, there are many factors that can disrupt its ability to function at its best and it’s important to know what steps you can take to support a healthy circulatory system.
Regular exercise is the most important key to heart health.
It’s recommended to engage in at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. Philly Powered is a great resource to get connected with fitness events happening in the city.
A poor diet high in fat, salt, sugar and cholesterol can contribute to heart disease.
Food Fit Philly is a great resource for how to access healthy foods on a budget. The Food Trust is another local organization that’s mission is to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food and information to make healthy decisions. Parkway Central Library is home to the Culinary Literacy Center, which was designed to change the way Philadelphians think about food, nutrition, and literacy; consider registering for an upcoming class!
Smoking builds up plaque inside the coronary arteries.
It is well documented that smoking contributes to a variety of health issues, especially related to the heart. Pennsylvania has set up the PA Free Quitline to offer you the resources you need to help you quit smoking, they can even offer a two-week or more supply of nicotine replacement therapy.
Continuous stress can cause damage to your arteries and increase risk to heart disease.
The Free Library offers workshops that teach stress reducing skills that can help! We also recommend taking a look at books and digital media we offer that can help with stress reduction techniques.
The Free Library offers a variety of other resources that can help you on your heart health journey. The South Philadelphia Library is home to the Health Lending Library collection where you can checkout blood pressure cuffs and food scales. Check our Health Explore Topic where you'll find many tools and resources that goes beyond just heart disease. Finally, listed below are the many classes and workshops offered throughout the Free Library system that can help you control your heart health though diet, exercise, and stress management. Be sure to go to our Events Calendar for the comprehensive list of upcoming health-related programs events!