February is American Heart MonthFact: According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing about 1 in 4 deaths.

Fact: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.

In an effort to combat cardiovascular disease, the Westchester County Department of Health supports prevention through heart healthy lifestyle changes. The information in these pages are designed to help reduce the incidence of heart disease in Westchester County by promoting regular physical activity and healthy eating habits. Use these tools to develop healthy lifestyles for you and your family.

Food and fitness can offer health for a lifetime. Prevention works.

  • Move More: If you think you have no time to exercise, think again. There are many opportunities to be more physically active throughout the day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or park further away from your destination to get a quick walk in.

  • Eating Healthy: Healthy food habits can help you reduce three risk factors for heart attack and stroke—high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess body weight.

  • Know Your Numbers: Knowing your numbers is an important part of keeping your heart healthy. Ask your health care provider to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Monitor Your Blood Pressure at Home
Having an electric blood pressure monitor at home to monitor your blood pressure daily is ideal. This will allow you to get the most accurate picture of your blood pressure over time as opposed to only occasional blood pressure readings in a medical office. The American Heart Association recommends an automatic, cuff-style, bicep (upper-arm) monitor.

Once you've purchased a monitor, bring it to your next medical appointment. Have your health care provider check to see that you are using it correctly and getting the same results as the equipment in the office. Plan to bring your monitor in once a year to make sure the readings are accurate.

The Westchester County Department of Health and the American Heart Association have partnered to bring you the following tools and materials to assist you with taking and keeping a record of your blood pressure readings at home: