It’s February — the shortest month of the year, the month of St. Valentine’s Day and the month of love. For many, February can bring it with some anticipation and even exasperation. What do you get for your sweet honey bee? How can you find the perfect gift? What if you don’t have anyone to celebrate with?
Well, fear no more, because not only is February the month of love but it’s the month of loving yourself — American Heart Month. Give yourself and your loved ones the greatest gift this American Heart Month by focusing on making heart-healthy decisions towards a happier and healthier lifestyle.
What is heart disease?
According to the Mayo Clinic, heart disease applies to a range of various diseases which affect the heart. Such conditions include blood vessel diseases, coronary artery issues, heart rhythm problems and congenital heart defects (among others).
“Heart disease” is a term often used synonymously with “cardiovascular disease,” which generally refers to conditions that include narrowed or blocked blood vessels. Blood vessel diseases can often lead to a heart attack, chest pain or even stroke. Despite the variation of heart disease a person has, it usually carries very serious side effects.
Why is it important?
Learning about heart disease and how to avoid it is important because it is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease every year.
Women especially are affected by heart disease, with their statistics being even higher. According to the American Heart Association, a woman dies by heart disease and stroke every 80 seconds. That’s 1 in 3 deaths every year. Thankfully, American Heart Month is taking steps to put a stop to this.
What is American Heart Month?
In an effort to fight cardiovascular disease, President Lyndon B. Johnson first declared February American Heart Month in 1964. Since then, the American Heart Association has dedicated the month to promoting awareness of heart disease and its risks.
How does American Heart Month make a difference?
American Heart Month makes a difference in our community and our nation by raising awareness for heart disease and how it can be prevented. It also provides a great opportunity to get involved, be vocal and help others who may not know of the potential risk.
How can you prevent heart disease?
If you’re interested in getting involved this February and promoting American Heart Month, the American Heart Association recommends you GO RED:
Get your numbers by asking your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
Own your lifestyle and commit to stop smoking, exercise consistently and eat healthy.
Raise your voice and advocate for more cardiovascular disease research and education.
Educate your family and friends by making healthy food choices. Take time to teach those in your life the importance of staying active and monitoring their hearts.
Donate. Commit to a better future for our nation by showing support with your time or money.
This February, find love with American Heart Month. Take care of yourself and promote a change in your community by being educated and proactive on the risks of cardiovascular disease. Because the best way to celebrate love is with a healthy heart.