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February is Perfect Time to Focus on Your Heart Health
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February is Perfect Time to Focus on Your Heart Health

Dr. Michael Land Offers Important Tips

ROME, Ga., Feb. 5, 2024 – Only about half of the people who have a heart attack experience warning signs beforehand. That is why preventing heart disease in the first place is so important, said Dr. Michael Land, who treats patients at Atrium Health Floyd Primary Care Family Medicine in Adairsville.

February is American Heart Month, and heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women. “That is why it is so important to prevent heart disease in the first place," Dr. Land said.

Some health changes that could help you avoid heart disease include:

  • eating a heart-healthy diet
  • getting enough physical activity
  • keeping an eye on your weight
  • managing stress
  • avoiding tobacco products

“The trick is that not everyone knows where to start or how to make these changes in a way that fits their life so they will actually stick with them," Dr. Land said.

He suggests talking with your doctor about your personal risk of heart disease. It's never too early to think about how to keep your heart healthy.

You have a greater chance of heart disease if you:

  • have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes
  • smoke
  • are overweight
  • don't get enough physical activity, or have a job that keeps you sitting most of the day
  • are stressed
  • have trouble sleeping
  • have a family history of heart disease

Here are some things you can do for your heart:

  • Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes at least 4 days a week. Pick an activity you enjoy – and one that will get your heart rate up. Exercise strengthens your heart, and it can also help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. You'll also find you have more energy and that you'll be more inclined to make healthier choices.
  • Research shows that sitting for too long is bad for your health – no matter how much exercise you get. If you have a desk job, drive a vehicle or find yourself sitting for extended periods of time, set a reminder to get up and move throughout the day whether it's to take a quick stretch break, go for mid-day walk or simply get a glass of water.
  • Eat healthy and read food labels.

“You really need to look closely at food labels," Dr. Land said. “Try to avoid saturated fats, added sugars and salt (sodium)."

A few helpful hints about eating better:

  • Healthy fats are OK in moderation. These include unsalted nuts, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, avocado and olive oil.
  • Fill your plate with color from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Bake or grill your food instead of frying it.
  • Limit processed and packaged food. This includes deli meats, hot dogs, crackers, breads and sauces – which tend to be loaded with sodium.
  • Plan so that you have healthy meals and snacks on hand.
  • Limit alcohol.

Be sure you know the signs of a heart attack so you can act quickly to call 911 if needed. Always follow your gut. Not sure what the signs are? Visit to learn more.

About Atrium Health Floyd
The Atrium Health Floyd family of health care services is a leading medical provider and economic force in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd is part of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Advocate Health, the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Floyd employs more than 3,500 teammates who provide care in over 40 medical specialties at three hospitals: Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center – a 304-bed full-service, acute care hospital and regional referral center in Rome, Georgia; Atrium Health Floyd Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia; and Atrium Health Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama; as well as Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center Behavioral Health – a freestanding 53-bed behavioral health facility in Rome – and also primary care and urgent care network locations throughout northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd also operates a stand-alone emergency department in Chattooga County, the first such facility to be built from the ground-up in Georgia.

About Advocate Health 
Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 155,000 team members across 68 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation's largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits. ​