This Valentine’s Day, give yourself the gift of a healthy heart

Although popular love songs might tell you otherwise, a broken heart can’t kill you – but heart disease can. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, taking 600,000 lives each year.

You might not be able to avoid Cupid’s arrow, but you can take steps to lower your risks and prevent heart disease. Start by scheduling an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether you’re at risk for heart disease.

Medicare will cover a cardiovascular screening at no cost to you every 5 years. The screening includes tests to help detect heart disease early and measures cholesterol, blood fat (lipids), and triglyceride levels.

If you and your doctor discover that you’re at risk for a heart attack or stroke, there are steps you can take to help prevent these conditions. You might be able to make lifestyle changes (like changing your diet and increasing your activity level or exercising more often) to lower your cholesterol and stay healthy.

February is American Heart month, so start it off right by visiting the Million Hearts® Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Resource Center. Million Hearts is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The resource center was developed in partnership with EatingWell magazine. It features lower sodium, heart-healthy recipes and family-friendly meal plans to help manage sodium intake, a major contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Check out our video for more information about the Million Hearts initiative.