National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the independence of several Latin American countries and the contributions that have infused America. With about 56.6 million of our nation’s population being of Hispanic decent, it is no surprise that many have embraced this amazing culture, establishing its mark in the United States in music, art, language, food, diversity and most importantly, health. Despite being the largest and fastest growing minority group, there is still a major health crisis concern.

The American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association is passionate about celebrating and preserving culture and heritage by building lives free of heart disease and stroke – two leading causes of death among Hispanic-Americans. Roughly, about 40.6 percent of Hispanics suffer from cardiovascular disease due to lack of awareness, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure. How can we change this and make a difference? The answer begins with YOU! Other than being familiar with your family history, there are ways you can create awareness at home, school, in your community or anywhere you go in your daily routine. Being an example can help others be more familiar with their own health. Here are a few small changes you can make that create a big impact on your overall health.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly. Among Hispanics age 20 and over about 80% of men and 76% of women are overweight. For overall cardiovascular health, aim for the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.
  • Reduce your sodium consumption. Limit your daily sodium intake to 1500mg a day, recommended by the American Heart Association. Refrain from keeping a salt shaker at the family dinner table to avoid unnecessary sodium intake.
  • Take My Life Check and know your heart score. Knowing your heart score can help identify changes you can make to your individual health.
  • Quit Smoking. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease and is one of the most preventable ways to lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.

For more tips on making healthy changes and to learn about the risks of cardiovascular disease and stroke, visit heart.org.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

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