February Is American Heart Month! Here’s How You Can Participate
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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States according to the CDC. Each year, about 655,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease. If that isn’t staggering enough, consider the fact that someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States.
The dangers of heart disease and the most common risk factors have long been known. That is why President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed the first American Heart Month in February 1964.
Now more than ever, it is crucial to raise awareness about heart health and how Americans can reduce their risk for developing heart disease. That is why we are amplifying the efforts of some of our favorite organizations in order to help accomplish this.
NHLBI’s Awareness Campaign
Our friends at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), put together a list of different ways we can spread awareness and participate in American Heart Month. Here are some of our favorites.
1: Social Media
Here are some ways to participate on social media:
- Use NHLBI’s Heart Month social media resources to promote Heart Month to your friends and followers.
- Create a Pinterest board with heart-healthy recipes and share it with your organization, friends, and family. Make it a public board and encourage others to add their favorite recipes. See The Heart Truth’s® Pinterest board for other ideas you can repin.
- Encourage your local representatives to post statistics about coronary heart disease in your state on their social media sites.
2: Wear red on the first Friday of February
Wear something red for National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about heart disease and encourage others to do the same.
3: Commit to a walking schedule
Even if you can’t walk together, recruit a friend or family member to follow your schedule and hold each other accountable.
4: Try a weekly healthy recipe
Ask friends and family to share their favorite heart-healthy recipe with you and send photos of the finished product in a group text.
5: Start a “steps” contest
Challenge your friends, family, or coworkers to participate. Use activity trackers to see which team takes the most steps!
6: Make TV watching more active
Don’t just… sit there! Crunches, push-ups, or even stretching during commercials can make a difference.
7: Spread the word
Reach out to personal trainers, local gyms, and other businesses to spread the word about the importance of physical activity to prevent heart disease.
We hope that these suggestions help you participate in American Heart Month and spread awareness about heart disease. You don’t need to implement all of these! Even implementing one or two of these suggestions can help. To see all 25 ways you can participate in American Heart Month, download NHLBI’s document here.
CDC Hypertension Toolkits
To support their frontline health care and community partners, the CDC has developed three toolkits with key hypertension control resources.
You can use these tools developed by the CDC to implement the evidence-based hypertension control strategies found in The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Control Hypertension.
American Heart Association – Go Red For Women
As previously mentioned, you can wear red on Friday, Feb 5 to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and save lives. But don’t just stop there! Spread the word through social media, fundraisers, with friends and family, and more. Visit goredforwomen.org to learn how you can get more involved!