American Heart Month
The month of February is federally designated as American Heart Month. The main goal of this observance is to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it, at home, in the workplace, and in the community as a whole. Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death, with 1 in 4 deaths each year caused by heart disease. However, “the positive thing about heart disease is that there are lots of things you can do on your own to reduce your risk substantially,” says cardiologist Dr. Jason Wasfy, director of quality and analytics at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
February is the perfect time to learn about your risk for heart disease and begin focusing on the value of prevention. Listed below are ways you can raise awareness about heart disease and share prevention methods with family, friends, and employees.
Get Involved with American Heart Month
- Participate in National Wear Red Day: On the first Friday of every February, which will be February 7 this year, the nation unites in red for a common goal: the eradication of heart disease and stroke.
- Community and Workplace Events: Host or join an event that promotes heart health, such as a walk/run or a healthy cooking demonstration.
- Spread the Word: Share information about American Heart Month and heart disease in your newsletter, on social media, on your office portal, etc.!
- Take action: Be the cure! Join the American Heart Association’s national movement to support healthier communities and healthier lives.
- Follow Life’s Simple 7: Encourage friends and family to join you as you commit to a healthy lifestyle guided by the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7” steps!
Life’s Simple 7
- Never smoke or stop smoking. After just one year of not smoking, your risk of heart disease already decreases.
- Get active! It is recommended to preform at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of intense exercise per week.
- Focus on balanced nutrition. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, and nuts into your daily diet and limit your intake of processed foods and sugar.
- Reduce your blood sugar levels through healthy lifestyle changes. You should aim for a fasting blood glucose below 100 mg/dL.
- Be mindful of your cholesterol levels. Total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL.
- Take steps to manage blood pressure. Focus on keeping your blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg.
- Maintain a healthy weight. It is recommended to have a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range (18.5–25)
Visit Heart.org for more information!