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In February, Remember Your Heart

John Morgan

Valentine’s Day may be over but there are still plenty of ways to take care of your heart.

February is Heart Health Month.

Oneida County Public Health Department is encouraging people of all ages to try and reduce risk factors for heart disease. 

Community health specialist Kyla Waksmonski  says behavior changes include daily exercise, healthy eating and limiting alcohol use.  Quitting smoking can also cut your risk of heart disease. 

“This message is for anyone, it’s for across the lifespan. Because if you develop healthy habits as a young adult, you’re more likely to continue those habits as you age. But it’s never too late for anyone to start new.”

In Oneida County, health data show almost 75 percent of the population reports eating very few fruits or vegetables.  Meanwhile, five percent have diabetes, a quarter smoke, and a fifth of are obese.

Waksmonski says it’s also important to know the symptoms of a heart attack – which range beyond chest pain or shortness of breath.

“And something that we’re really trying to put out there right now, is women experience different signs and symptoms than men do a lot of times. And sometimes women will experience nausea or flu-like symptoms, and that can actually be a symptom of a heart attack.”

She says it’s important to act fast and call 911 if you suspect you’re having a heart attack. 

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