Author Benjamin Percy once said, “Matters of the heart make your world worth occupying.” Around Valentine’s Day, that may have you thinking of your sweetheart, but we’re taking a more literal approach.
The heart matters, and that’s why every February we celebrate American Heart Month by raising awareness about heart health.
What is American Heart Month?
American Heart Month is a combined campaign from the American Heart Association and other health associations to raise awareness about heart disease, other ailments of the heart, and to raise general awareness about heart health and disease prevention. For 2019, the spotlight is on talking about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a major risk factor when it comes to heart disease and strokes.
To get to the heart of it all: your heart is essential.
The heart is responsible for pumping blood through our bodies and is a huge support to crucial functions performed by other organs. Did you know heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States? Our hearts are very vulnerable to risks: cardiac arrest, strokes, and high cholesterol to name a few.
Heart attacks are another common and deadly complication. It’s important to recognize the signs of a heart attack, such as:
- Chest discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, nausea, or a cold sweat
What can you do to promote heart health?
Awareness is only half of the battle. It’s vital to take an active interest in your heart health and replace poor habits with healthy ones. Some examples of things you can do to improve your heart health include:
- Eat a heart friendly diet.
- Get regular exercise.
- Avoid smoking.
- Consume alcohol responsibly and in moderation.
- Be diligent about managing stress.
Take heart and take care of your heart this February. It’s the best Valentine you can give yourself and the ones you love.