Valentine's Day is a day that traditionally focuses on love and letting loved ones know that you care. It's celebrated by adults and children – remember giving cards to your school classmates? Whether you plan to celebrate on your own or with others for Valentine's Day, give the gift of health to yourself and your loved one. Below are a few tips to help keep you and your valentine safe and healthy on Valentine's Day and all year long.
February is American Heart Month. Take steps to be heart-healthy, including getting regular exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack, and act immediately by calling 911 if you or someone you know experiences them. A person's chance of surviving a heart attack is increased if emergency treatment is administered as soon as possible.
Include some physical activity in your celebration plans. For example, take a walk or go dancing. Physical activity need not be strenuous to be beneficial; people of all ages benefit from participating in regular, moderate-intensity physical activity, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking five or more times a week. Don't forget to log your activity on www.fitcitychallenge.com!
Be balanced in your diet.
Balance the candy and dinner out with healthy foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choose foods low in fat and added sugars, and watch your portion size. Visit www.fitcitychallenge.org for more tips.
If you smoke, quit today! Keep you and your loved ones healthier by not smoking and by avoiding secondhand smoke. QuitLineNC is a free resource that offers one-on-one support. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for help or text “COACH” to 44264 to receive quit tips to help you quit smoking for good.
Love is all around, and so are sexually transmitted diseases. The only 100% sure way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy is by not having sex. If you choose to have sex, using latex condoms and having a monogamous, uninfected partner may help decrease your risk. The Mecklenburg County Health Department offers free, confidential STD counseling and testing every day. Call 704-432-TEST (8378) for more details.
Spread the love, not the germs.
Since it's cold and flu season, take steps to avoid getting or spreading germs. Wash your hands often, avoid close contact when you or someone you know is sick, and get a flu vaccine if needed. Visit Flu Watch for tips to stay healthy.