February is all about the heart—and not just because of Valentine’s Day. It is also American Heart Month and February 9-15 is Cardiovascular Professionals Week. It is also a good opportunity to remind the public to pay close attention to cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the country for men and women. While routine testing with your doctor is the best way to monitor your risk for heart problems, also follow these five tips to help keep your heart in shape at any age.

Get regular exercise. Ages 18–65 should be getting at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days of the week, according to the American Heart Association.
Eat a balanced diet. Choose whole fruits that offer high levels of fiber. Check for whole grains in cereal. Eggs, fish and almonds are all good options.
Do not smoke. Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely to die from coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.
Manage your stress. Whether from work or personal life, take time to relax to ensure a healthy heart.
Get plenty of sleep. According to the Harvard Medical School, poor sleep habits can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart failure, heart attack and stroke, diabetes and obesity.

In addition to these tips above, regular visits to the doctor are important. A doctor should perform a variety of tests to determine your heart’s ability to maintain a normal rhythm or regulate blood flow. These tests sometimes begin as early as age 35 for those who are considered high risk but usually start around age 40.

As a Valentine’s gift to yourself, start taking the steps to building and maintaining a strong, healthy heart.