Newswise — February is Heart Month and small steps can have a big impact. Jefferson experts provide their advice for one step you can take today to protect your heart tomorrow.

Rohinton Morris, MD, is Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Jefferson Health and the Anthony Narducci Professor of Surgery. Dr. Morris sees patients at both Abington-Jefferson Health and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

“One easy step that everybody can take is to eat a more healthy diet,” said Dr. Morris. “That’s taking more leafy greens, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It’s very easy to read the ingredients, you’ll feel better, you’ll manage your weight better and your heart will thank you.”

Andria Jones, DO, FACC, is a cardiologist specializing in women’s heart health with Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.

“Heart disease is the leading killer of women in America. Despite this, women are more likely than men to delay seeking medical care for a possible heart attack,” Dr. Jones said. “During a heart attack, a woman may experience chest discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, pain in their arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach. One step a woman can take for her heart health is to pay attention to her symptoms and not delay seeking medical care.”

David Shipon, MD, FACC, is an expert in preventive and sports cardiology. He is Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals.

“One step that you can take to be heart healthy is just to smile,” said Dr. Shipon. “Smiling can help to reduce your stress levels; stress management is essential to heart health.”

Dr. Shipon also recommends increasing your steps every day and setting a goal of reaching 10,000 steps per day. Exercise is a key to taking care of your heart.

For more heart health tips or to schedule an interview with a Jefferson physician, contact Gail Benner at gail.benner@jefferson.edu.