Did you know? February is American Heart Month. This year, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) launched #OurHearts, a national campaign to encourage and motivate everyone to adopt heart healthy behaviors. It’s promoted as a team effort because when people work together it’s easier to be successful. Throughout the month, NHLBI will have themes to promote #OurHearts. From #OurHearts at work or #OurHearts in the community, they will encourage you to share how you view these themes and how they take place in your life. Because February is focused on spreading the word about heart disease, it’s important to know what it is and how you can be affected by it. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a disease that affects the heart including heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure and is the number one killer of women and men in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control. Some of the risk factors that lead to heart disease include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Poor eating habits
Here are a few things you can do this February to support American Heart Month:
- Educate Yourself: Learn about the different types of cardiovascular diseases and educate yourself on the risk factors and preventative measures you can take.
- Wear Red: Participate in National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about heart disease.
- Exercise: Being physically active is a great way to fight back against most CVD risk factors. Try and incorporate the four main types of exercise to get the most benefits out of your workout.
- Donate: Give a gift that goes towards saving other people’s lives. Donate a monetary gift to the American Heart Association to support the constant research to improve the health of your loved ones.
- Improve Eating Habits: Watch your diet and make sure you are eating heart-healthy foods. Learn how to find these in the grocery store or at a restaurant here.
This February, dedicate yourself to the education of heart disease. We want you to make heart healthy decisions to keep your heart beating and healthy for as long as possible.