MOUNTY MORRIS — February is American Heart Month. It is the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and the steps you need to take now to help your heart.

Heart disease can happen at any age. Here are some conditions and behaviors that put people at risk for heart disease:

• High blood pressure

• High blood cholesterol

• Smoking

• Obesity

• Diabetes

• Physical inactivity

• Unhealthy eating patterns

There are many ways to take control of your heart health, including:

Don’t smoke. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.

Manage conditions. Work with your health care team to manage conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This includes taking any medicines you have been prescribed.

Make heart-healthy eating changes. Eat food low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sugar and sodium. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits, and aim for low sodium options.

Stay active. Get moving for at least 150 minutes per week. You can even break up the 30 minutes into 10-minute blocks.

Your heart is the most important muscle in your body. Keep it healthy and fit for a long and productive life. For more information regarding heart health contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 243-7299.