February is American Heart Month. Heart health is no joke. The millions of people who have survived heart attacks will tell you that. It’s something we don’t often think about until we have to. Certainly as young people, we don’t often think about making heart healthy choices. Then perhaps we see the doctor and he tells us our cholesterol is high, or we have chest pains and it’s only a scare, but it’s enough to wake us up.
American Heart Month History
February was named American Heart Month back at the end of 1963, when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation making it so. A heart attack survivor himself, President Johnson understood the importance of cardiovascular health. Addressing the American public when announcing the National day, he urged, “the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.”
This actually changed the course of history and how seriously we took heart health back in the day. Early the next year, in January of 1964, the first Surgeon General’s report on Smoking and Health was released and this was the first nationwide report that linked smoking with heart disease.
Of course now, we know so much more and our technology, medicine and medical care has improved drastically. More importantly, we have the ability to care for ourselves and our loved ones in ways that have been proven to be “heart healthy”. These ways can prevent and help manage heart disease.
Heart Month Initiatives
Every year, the American Heart Association and other organizations runs initiatives all throughout the month of February. This year is no different, but is also very different. We’ve struggled for the last two years through a pandemic, many of us have built unhealthy habits, and heart patients have had unique challenges getting care.
Go Red For Women
National Wear Red Day is February 4th. This is the day that we wear red across the country to bring focus to women’s health issues. GoRedForWomen indicates:
“Fact: Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. It’s a third of our mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, coworkers and more. It’s a third of the women we can’t bear to live with it.
Fact: Cardiovascular disease impacts some women at higher rates than others, but the simple truth is that most cardiovascular diseases can still be prevented with education and healthy lifestyle changes.
Fact: Heart disease and stroke can affect a woman at any age, making it vital for all women to understand their personal risk factors and family history. Women can also experience unique life events that can impact their risk, including pregnancy and menopause. Furthermore, research shows that stress may impact health, making it important for women to understand the mind-body connection and how to focus on improving both their physical health and mental well-being.
Fact: Losing even one woman to cardiovascular disease is too many.”
Social Media Hashtags for awareness
There are numerous hashtags that can be used to build awareness of heart health and cardiovascular issues:
Nourish to Flourish Virtual Event
Listed on the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Website:
“If taking care of your heart feels like one more item on your to-do list, we’re here to make it easier. Join The Heart Truth® February 11 at 12 p.m. EST for a heart-healthy cooking demo and mindful eating exercise. Healthy eating is one way to take care of #OurHearts as part of our self-care routine. Show your heart some love this month!”
Join here: Nourish to Flourish Virtual Event
Heart Month Resources
- Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2021 Update
- Managing My Blood Pressure
- The Correct Way to Measure Blood Pressure
- Prevent and Manage High Blood Pressure
American Heart Month brings to remembrance that we should be taking better care of our cardiovascular health. No matter our age, there is always something more to be learned and some way that we can improve our heart health. Do it for yourself and those who love you.
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