About American Heart Month: Ways to Get Involved
Each February, NHLBI and The Heart Truth® celebrate American Heart Month by motivating people to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. Focusing on your heart health has never been more important. People with poor cardiovascular health are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
When we take care of #OurHearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same. Inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart health a regular part of your self-care routine.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. But you can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy.
Heart-healthy living involves understanding your risk, making choices, and taking steps to reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including coronary heart disease, the most common type. Coronary and other types of heart disease cause heart attacks, but by taking preventive measures, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease and also improve your overall health and well-being.
Understand Your Risks
The first step toward heart health is understanding your risk of heart disease. Your risk depends on many factors, some of which are changeable and others that are not. Risk factors are conditions or habits that make a person more likely to develop a disease. These risk factors may be different for each person.
Preventing heart disease starts with knowing what your risks factors are and what you can do to lower them.
Your risk of heart disease is higher if you:
Do not get regular physical activity
Have a family history of early heart disease (your father or brother was diagnosed before age 55, or your mother or sister was diagnosed before age 65)
Have a history of preeclampsia (a sudden rise in blood pressure and too much protein in the urine during pregnancy)
Have unhealthy eating behaviors
Are older (age 55 or older for women or age 45 or older for men)
Some risk factors cannot be changed. These include your age, sex, and a family history of early heart disease. But many others can be modified. For example, being more physically active and eating healthy are important steps for your heart health. You can make the changes gradually, one at a time. But making them is very important.
Tips for healthy Heart Living that you can control:
Aim for a healthy weight
Get regular physical activity
Get enough good-quality sleep
Get Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checked
Join us in our support for National Wear Red Day®
National Wear Red Day® is celebrated the first Friday of February. Wear red and encourage others to do the same to bring awareness that heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S., and that it's largely preventable. Learn more about Wear Red Day, including resources and where to donate. Donate now!
Help us support the cause for healthy hearts, spread the word and let's help save lives! Ask your health care provider about getting your cholesterol and blood pressure checked today.