Life’s Simple 7 steps go a long way to help achieve healthy heart


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Walkers and runners race through the heart-shaped hoop to finish the annual Brevard Heart Walk 5K fundraiser in 2019. This year’s event will be held at 8 a.m. Feb. 22 at The Avenue Viera at 2261 Town Center Ave. in Viera. For more information and to register, go online to Brevard Heart Walk 2020.

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Most everyone pretty much knows the procedure to a healthy heart existence — nutritious eating habits, exercise, not smoking — but how about the guidelines for checking heart health? The American Heart Association offers Life’s Simple 7 as risk factors to help achieve ideal cardiovascular health.

“These measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference,” said Jimmy Clarity, the senior director of health strategies for the American Heart Association of Greater Orlando.    

The Life’s Simple 7 steps to monitor your heart health include managing blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar, get active, eat better, lose weight and stop smoking. High cholesterol contributes to plaque which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke, notes the American Heart Association. You are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.

“Having your cholesterol and blood sugar checked by your doctor helps you to become a participant in a healthy heart,” Clarity added.

“Although heart disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans, the good news is that it’s 80 percent preventable with lifestyle changes. Studies show people in optimal ranges of Life’s Simple 7 have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke compared to people in poor ranges,” said LaSonia Landry, the executive director of American Heart Association of Greater Orlando.

The American Heart supports many endeavors, including research. The Brevard Heart Walk 5K fundraiser will be held at 8 a.m. Feb. 22 at The Avenue Viera at 2261 Town Center Ave. Averaging 1,100 participants annually, the walk of 3.2 miles includes a survivor mile for patients, said Buffy McKinney, the regional director.

“Corporate sponsors, companies and individuals raise teams to participate,” McKinney said. “One hundred percent of the funds raised stay in the county. Funds go for a grant for an investigator researcher at Florida Institute of Technology, for CPR training, free programs for employers’ health and wellness, a stroke program.” To register, go online to Brevard Heart Walk 2020.

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