With February coming to a close, and all the Heart Month hype starting to die down, we wanted to take a moment to consider the reason behind Heart Month and how you can keep raising awareness and arming yourself with knowledge year round. Cardiac programs all across the country get excited and busy, busy, busy in February with all the events, fundraisers, and education surrounding heart disease and how it impacts Americans, but there’s a very real need for that knowledge, fundraising, and awareness all year, too.
February is well known as heart month (Valentine’s Day makes it easy, you know?), and all month long you’ve probably seen and heard more about heart disease than you ever would normally. You’re encouraged to wear red and read up and support the cause. And that’s all important stuff, but before you go diving into medical journals, it’s worth understanding a little more about heart disease.
Heart disease spans a wide range of afflictions and dangers. In February you often hear about the impact it has on women and how symptoms of serious cardiac illnesses such as heart attacks present themselves much differently in women than they do in men. Even outside of these crucial gender differences in education and awareness, heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the United States annually. One of the even more shocking, but important facts about that statistic? Most heart diseases are preventable with healthy lifestyle choices and regular exercise.
Ways to Raise Heart Awareness All Year
February is pretty much over now, but that doesn’t mean the need for awareness or education goes away. If you’re not sure what to do outside of donating and wearing red when it comes to fighting against a major killer in America, here are a few things to consider. You can get screened, for one. The risk factors are more prevalent in daily life than most realize, so getting checked can let you get ahead of the game. Plus, sharing with others that you chose to get screened and what the results were may encourage your loved ones to follow suit, helping people discover if they are at a higher risk sooner, so they can do something about it before it’s too late.
Get certified in CPR. So many people have heart attacks outside of hospitals every year (approximately 383,000) and CPR can save the lives of many. It’s simple to get certified and learn the skills, and it could mean the difference between life and death for someone, someday.
Make it your personal mission to cook more heart-healthy meals in 2018. It may take some research, but you’ll likely find a few you and your family love, making it easy to add them into your regular cooking rotation and feel good about feeding your family and yourself delicious meals that help protect your heart.
Every step you take to ensure you and your loved ones are keeping an eye on their cardiac health and living a healthier lifestyle, in general, can help raise awareness and increase education surrounding what causes heart disease well after the shortest month of the year ends. We always encourage sharing your stories, successes, and steps toward living healthier, longer, and with less stress online. Amplifying these things to your social networks can help catch the eye (and heart) of someone who may not have realized they needed it, and every chance we have to touch the lives of others in that way, we should take. If you’re ready to get a screening yourself, or help your family get screened for risk factors, give us a call.