February is National Heart Month, and because heart disease continues to be the No. 1 killer of men and women in our country, it's a good time to review the American Heart Association's guidelines for reducing the risk of heart disease.
For starters, heart disease doesn't begin at 50 or 60 years of age. Heart and cardiovascular health begin at birth. A high-fat, high-sodium, excess-calorie diet in childhood can begin the process and increase earlier problems with heart and cardiovascular disease. It's never too early, or too late, to follow the AHA guidelines of these seven health and behavior factors important to heart health. Even small, simple changes can make a big difference: