Heart Health Month Reminders

Dr. Parag Joshi

February is the month of love, and the numbers show area residents could all do a lot better about loving their hearts.

According to the local American Heart Association office, those living in Dallas and the Park Cities need to eat healthier, get quality preventative care, and move more.

“We sit in cars on our way to desk jobs where we sit for most of the day,” Dr. Parag Joshi said.

Joshi, a preventative cardiologist and assistant professor at UT Southwestern Medical Center, sees patients at the hospital’s Park Cities clinic on Hillcrest Avenue.

“Unlike other parts of the country like the Northeast where walking everywhere is common or the West Coast where great weather encourages a lifestyle of outdoor activities, we have a lot of sedentary behaviors,” he said.

Joshi is also concerned about area diets. “We have a lot of fast food options,” he said.

His suggestions:

• Take 5-to-10- minute walks during breaks at work, trying to hit 10,000 steps each day.

• Keep a good balance between work, hobbies and home life. He encourages stress-relieving activities such as yoga and regular exercise.

• Eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and poultry, while limiting dairy, carbs, red meat, sodium, and sweets.

“There is the obvious reason to improve your lifestyle, which is it helps prevent heart attacks, strokes, and heart failure by improving your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, etc.,” he said. “The less obvious reason to improve your lifestyle is that if, God forbid, you do have a major event like a heart attack, you’re much more likely to come out OK if you’re in good shape going in.”