Can your heart survive Valentineandamp;#8217;s Day? |

Can your heart survive Valentineandamp;#8217;s Day?

Special to the Sun

NEVADA CITY, Calif. andamp;#8212; Valentineandamp;#8217;s Day can be a time for hearts, flowers and candy, but according to MedlinePlus, itandamp;#8217;s also a day when approximately 2,800 people andamp;#8212; parents, aunts, friends, siblings, uncles, cousins, children and grandparents andamp;#8212; will suffer a heart attack. Of these, nearly 1,400 will die andamp;#8212; leaving a tragic trail of broken hearts. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, your chance of contributing to these grim statistics goes up. Carole Carson, dubbed andamp;#8220;An Apostle for Fitnessandamp;#8221; by the Wall Street Journal and the author of andamp;#8220;From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reductionandamp;#8221; said, andamp;#8220;February, which is American Heart Month, hosts Valentineandamp;#8217;s Day, an occasion to celebrate loving relationships. What better way to say andamp;#8216;I love youandamp;#8217; than by setting a positive example through healthful eating and regular exercise.andamp;#8221; She suggests three ways to show you care by getting FIT:F: Face the factsA clear sense of your risks based on health measures (blood pressure, weight, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels) will give you and your loved ones an incentive to make needed changes. Instead of fearing the future, proactively invest in your health by making better choices today. Knowing the inevitable heartache that could come from continuing your current lifestyle will help you find the willpower to walk by the ubiquitous aisles of tempting Valentineandamp;#8217;s Day candy and goodies. I: Initiate a walkNothing conveys the essence of love more powerfully than two people walking hand in hand, whether they are lovers, a parent and a child or simply good friends. And while youandamp;#8217;re out walking, pick up a gift for your sweetheart that promotes fitness, such as a pedometer or heart monitor. T: Treat yourself and lovedones to heart-healthy cookiesTake your favorite cookie recipe and cut the recommended amount of sugar in half. Substitute applesauce or yogurt for the oil or shortening. You and your sweeties can enjoy the cookies twice as much knowing they reflect a commitment to extending your lives through wholesome eating.Carole added, andamp;#8220;Loving others gives meaning to our lives. But we canandamp;#8217;t forget to love ourselves as well andamp;#8212; and that includes improving our eating habits, exercising regularly and shedding unhealthy weight.andamp;#8221;By joyfully embracing a healthful lifestyle, you can reduce the risk for heart-rending medical problems and improve your chances for enjoying future Februarys with those nearest and dearest to you.andamp;#8212; Carole Carson of Nevada City, Calif. recently authored andamp;#8220;From Fat to Fit: Turn Yourself into a Weapon of Mass Reduction,andamp;#8221; available at and Barnesandamp;