Will you be Byrd-Watson’s Valentine?  At Byrd-Watson Pharmacy we are so happy to serve you and we always look forward to seeing you come to the store.  We strive to make sure that you are able to get your medications on time and to be available if you ever have any questions about your medicine or over-the-counter products.

February is American Heart Month. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and on in four American deaths is a result of heart disease.  High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking are the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease with obesity, diabetes, excessive alcohol use, poor diet, and physical inactivity also contributing.

So how can you stay heart healthy?

  1. Make changes to your diet. Make sure you are choosing foods that are low in fat as well as high in fiber. Choosing foods that say “low-fat” or “reduced fat” may be good options while in the store but you can also modify recipes to cut the fat out. Replacing oil for applesauce when making a cake or removing one egg yolk from a 2-egg omelet can make a pretty big difference in fat without that much change in taste!   Foods that are high in fiber are whole grains, beans, fruit, and vegetables.  Rinsing and draining canned vegetables as well as removing the salt shaker from the dinner table can help decrease your salt intake.
  2. Get active. It is recommended to always double-check with your doctor about increasing physical activity to make sure you are healthy enough to do certain activities. Some things you may be able to do without having to join a gym or visit gympalmdesert.com are parking further away from the store, walking the dog, or developing a mini exercise routine to do during commercial breaks of your favorite show!
  3. Stop smoking immediately. Smoking has no health benefits and the best way to reduce heart risks from developing is to stop smoking altogether. However, this can be very, very difficult to do! At Byrd-Watson Pharmacy we have products available to assist you in quitting smoking and our pharmacists can assist you in preparing to quit smoking if you are nervous about taking the first step.  Many people have quit smoking and you do not have to do it alone!

We want you to be our Valentine this year and for many more years to come!  Please contact the staff at our Pharmacy with any questions on how to lower your risk for heart disease as well as to improve your health overall.

Article by Laura Olsen, PharmD / Pharmacist-in-Charge at Byrd-Watson Pharmacy