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Heart Month Extra: WISH-TV’s Medical Expert delivers Leap Day advice

Dr. Janel Gordon – Heart Health

Interview with WISH-TV Medical Expert Dr. Janel Gordon about American Heart Health Month

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — To pump every healthy drop out of February’s American Heart Month, WISH-TV Medical Expert Dr. Janel Gordon joined “Daybreak” for some Leap Day wisdom.

She started with a hard truth: by the numbers, nothing is deadlier than heart disease.

“It’s still America’s leading killer,” Gordon told our viewers. She says it’s true of both men and women, though not at the same stage of life. “Men are usually presenting with heart disease at an earlier age than women do. Unfortunately, that has led to some disparities when it comes to researching cardiovascular disease or heart disease in women – as well as some discrepancy in care that is received or given to women.”

Gordon points out that heart health disparities show up across racial and ethnic groups. The American Heart Association says Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian, and other groups face increased rates of cardiovascular disease.

While some factors may be beyond the control of an individual, Gordon says there are plenty of areas we can improve to keep hearts as healthy as possible.

She’s a big believer in exercise – both cardio and weights. Each week, she says, “The American College of Lifestyle Medicine recommends that you do 150 minutes of cardio activity… Additionally, you want to do at least two days of resistance training.”

Sleep is a major factor, too. Gordon says she asks all of her patients about it, every time they visit.

“People are now saying sleep should be an additional vital sign – in addition to measuring someone’s heart rate, their blood pressure, their respiratory rate or breathing rate.”

Heart-healthy breakfast “heart bars” in chocolate treat with berries (WISH PHOTO)

Gordon is also a passionate advocate for a healthy diet, especially as it relates to heart health. She brought breakfast hearts, a dinner plate, and a dessert for viewers to try at home.

To see how to prepare them, watch the video above.