February is American Heart Month, a tradition since 1964. During this month, everyone is encouraged to raise awareness against heart disease, which is the number one condition in the country. Research has established that almost half of Americans have at least one major risk factor they are unaware of.
A number of events are held during American Heart Month. Individuals can:
- Get a health check at various health centers that offer free or reduced fee heart screening
- Talk to a health care provider about how to control blood pressure
- Add physical activity to a daily routine such as brisk walking for at least 30 minutes every day
- Adopt healthy eating habits and choices
- Quit smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol
- Attend seminars such as the one on "What African-American Men Need for a Healthy Heart," which is organized by Million Hearts US and Men's Health Network. African-American men are more susceptible to heart disease than men from other races
|Image credit: PBA Health|
- Wear red to show support for the cause of promoting heart health in women. Macy's and the American Heart Association are two of the event sponsors with a collection of red dresses created specifically for the cause
- Attend or keep up with the programs at the annual International Stroke Conference from February 17th to 19th, 2016
- Participate in Heart Failure Awareness Week in a Twitter chat to be done in collaboration with the Heart Failure Society of America. The chat, scheduled for February 29th, will be held at 8 p.m ET where cardiologist and professor Jennifer Mieres will answer questions about heart disease in African-American women
- Participate in the #HealthyHeartSelfie Challenge organized by the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease. The challenge is to watch the tips given every day during American Heart Month and take a selfie of how you are applying them. You can also snap a selfie that shows the personal meaning of a healthy heart
The Heart to Fight
Despite awareness campaigns, research, and free heart screening services, cardiovascular disease takes the lives of over 17 million Americans every year. It is projected that this number will grow to over 23.5 million by 2030. There is no choice but for everyone to get into the fight for a healthy heart.