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Staying heart healthy: What you need to know at the end of Heart Health Month

Heart health

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- February is Heart Health Month, and we want to make sure you're able to take preventative measures against heart disease and heart attacks.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy heart and warding off disease, the three most important factors to take into consideration are diet, exercise and genetics.

"Making sure that there's nothing familial from a cholesterol stand point is important but I also think it comes down to the behaviors," said Dr. Sam Hayes, a cardiologist for UCHealth. "Maybe their grandparents or parents smoked so I think adjusting some of those risk factors is very important. When you look at current guidelines it's the life long pursuit of a healthy lifestyle."

Hayes recommends starting from an early age, teaching kids how to be healthy now, so they can build healthy habits. And there's a fourth component that may be playing into you ability to diet and exercise properly.

According to the website heart.org, stress doesn't necessarily have a direct correlation to heart health, but stress can affect behaviors and factors that increase heart disease risk.

"It's more to do with how we deal with our stress. Its making sure that the way we deal with that stress is healthy. More times than not I'm seeing patients who are dealing with the behaviors, tobacco use, eating unhealthily and it leaves them paralyzed to doing more physical activity."

Hayes says that we do want to address the stressors in our lives, but we want to find healthy alternatives.

For more information visit heart.org.

Colorado Springs / Health / Lifestyle / Local / Local News / Video

Dani Fried

Dani is a weekend GMC anchor and reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Dani here.