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February 14, 2014

Heart awareness month set to match time of love

CHICKASHA —

Sprinkled in glitter on greeting cards and etched onto candy surfaces, hearts are everywhere during the month of February. 

February has been designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as heart awareness month. 

Loxie Chapman, of Lifeline Hospice, gave the following ticker tips to keep hearts pumping to a healthy beat for many Valentine's Days to come. 

Following a balanced diet is essential to heart health, Chapman said. Learn to love fruits and vegetables and high fiber foods–with only an occasional rendezvous with salt, sodium and alcohol. Men should have no more than two drinks a day and women should stop at one, Chapman said. 

Eating a healthy diet may also help keep body weight out of the overweight or obese category. Being overweight or obese may contribute to a number of heart ailments, Chapman said. 

But the number on the scale isn't the only one to watch, Chapman said. Checking blood pressure at the doctors office or pharmacy in addition to checking cholesterol levels are also vital to vascular vitality. 

Breaking up with unhealthy habits like smoking is another way to reduce the risk of heart disease. Chapman recommended visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for tips on dumping tobacco for good. 

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