It’s time to “go red.” February is American Heart Month in support of the American Heart Association’s fight against heart disease found in women. Heart disease has continued to be the number one cause of death for women in the United States.

More than 2,200 Americans die each day from cardiovascular disease, with about 1,440 of them being women. That equals one woman per minute.

There are many factors that play a role in heart disease including family history that you can’t change. You may not be able to erase your family’s heart disease history, but you can help prevent it from striking you. The best way to help keep the deadly disease at bay is by simply living a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy weight.

Most adults who put on weight tend to add fat rather than muscle. This added weight could create health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes all of which increase the risk of heart disease.

When you’re overweight your heart has to work overtime causing much stress to it. Obesity is a heart attack waiting to happen.

Even just losing 10 percent of your body weight can make a huge impact and lower your risk of heart disease.

Exercise and staying physically active is important. Not just to lose weight but for your heart. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes a day but if that just isn’t possible with today’s hustle and bustle do what you can even if it is only for 10 minutes. Any physical activity will help reduce the risk of fatal heart conditions.

Exercise helps strengthen your heart and gets it pumping.

You don’t have to go to the gym to get a workout. Simple things such as cleaning, walking the dog and even a pleasurable activity such as gardening can count. Of course the more intense your workout is the more impact and bigger the benefit will be.

A healthy diet is important as well when trying to reduce your heart disease risk and maintain a healthy weight.

You need to stick to a diet that is low in fat, cholesterol and salt. Try to include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat sources of protein such as beans and fish in your diet.

Salmon is rich in omega-3s, a polyunsaturated fat that is known to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and lower your blood pressure.

When it comes to your heart there is no room to play games. If your heart stops beating you stop living.

Don’t become just another statistic. Go Red!