In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first proclamation declaring February as American Heart Month. For 57 years, the month of February has pointed a spotlight on heart disease, the #1 killer of Americans. American Heart Month focuses on educating people about heart disease, emphasizing the importance of regular physical activity, promoting a heart-healthy diet, and encouraging routine check-ups to monitor heart health.
Throughout the month, events and initiatives are in place to raise awareness about heart disease prevention and management and motivate the public to reduce their risk of heart-related conditions.
Did you know…
- 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with heart disease. This year, women are encouraged to listen to their bodies and recognize if they are experiencing a heart-related episode.
- Researchers now have valid data showing a direct link between childhood risk factors and future heart disease.
- New studies have found depression, anxiety, and stress linked with poor heart health.
To Help Prevent Heart Disease:
- Visit a doctor regularly to monitor your health and determine any risk factors you may have.
- Adopt healthy eating habits. Concentrate on foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy. Reduce your salt, saturated fat, and sugar intake.
- Get your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly checked. If either of these numbers are high, consult your doctor and work on getting them to a healthy range.
- Maintain and aim for a healthy weight since being overweight or obese contributes to heart disease.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can lower stress, improve mental health, and help you lose excess weight.
- Quit Smoking! Smoking harms every organ in the body and can contribute to heart and lung disease, cancer, and many other illnesses and ailments. Secondhand smoke also contributes to serious health problems in non-smokers.
- Choose your beverages wisely. Limit your alcohol intake and sugary drinks, including soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored coffee, and sweetened water. Drink more water.
- Manage stress by exercising, spending time with family and friends, practicing relaxation techniques, and getting enough quality sleep.