AMERICAN HEART MONTH—SHOW YOUR HEART SOME LOVE
City of Kingsland to Promote Heart Health Awareness This February
From heart-shaped chocolates to Chick-Fil-A’s heart-shaped biscuits, February has no shortage of goodies to remind us that it’s the month of love. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only heart-related event this month—the City of Kingsland is also encouraging residents to ‘Show Your Heart Some Love’ by displaying red heart awareness ribbons around downtown during February, in recognition of American Heart Month.
“As we turn to the season of love and matters of the heart, February is an apt time to give our real hearts some attention too,” stated Kingsland Mayor Grayson Day. American Heart Month is a time to pay special attention to understanding, preventing and treating heart disease – the leading cause of death in the nation. Over 874,000 Americans died of cardiovascular disease in 2019, according to the American Heart Association. The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when healthy choices are made to manage health conditions. So don’t be a statistic; get started on your path to a healthy heart, which in turn reflects positive effects on the rest of your body.
The Facts About Heart Disease
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Get the facts on heart disease and what can put you at risk. http://bit.ly/2lhOAKI
- 1 in every 3 deaths in the United States are related to cardiovascular disease. Explore shareable resources help you make heart-healthy choices and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. cdc.gov/heartmonth
- Someone in the United States has a heart attack every 40 seconds. Don’t skip a beat—recognizing the 5 major signs and symptoms of a heart attack could save a life. http://bit.ly/2lGKz3aexternal icon
- Almost 50% of Americans have at least 1 of 3 key risk factors for Heart Disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, or smoking. You can control these risk factors —learn how. http://bit.ly/38m4U2U
How to Lower Your Risk
Fortunately, many of the risk factors for heart disease are preventable when you adapt healthy habits. If the past year has left you struggling to focus on your heart health, here are some tips to help you get back on track.
- Prioritize Sleep - Getting enough sleep isn’t only important for healthy brain function—it also plays an important role in your heart health according to the CDC. As you move through the stages of sleep, your body becomes more relaxed and your blood pressure drops. The more regular sleep you miss, the longer your blood pressure stays higher. Getting enough sleep helps prevent high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. Lack of regular sleep can also make it difficult to maintain other heart-healthy habits, such as physical activity and a healthy diet.
- Move More - You may have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking.” While it sounds dramatic, it’s not that far off the mark. The CDC states that more than 60 percent of Americans are not getting the recommended level of physical activity, and this lack of movement is one of the leading risk factors associated with heart disease. Not getting enough physical activity can also contribute to other heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. The good news? You don’t have to be a gym rat for your heart to reap the benefits of physical activity. Taking short walks, standing for an hour or two at your desk (or during meetings if you work from home), and even housework are all simple approaches that can help you get moving and improve your heart health.
- Eat Mindfully - At this point, we all know what we eat impacts our health. And yet, poor diet remains a leading risk factor for high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests limiting saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugary beverages to maintain a heart-healthy diet. That may sound like a handful, but making positive changes to your diet could be as simple as cutting down on soda, using smaller plates to help control your portions, or choosing fruits and veggies for a midday snack.
No matter how you decide to show your heart some love this month, remember to start with small changes that are sustainable. Drastic lifestyle shifts can be overwhelming, but even minor, positive adjustments in our daily living can help build habits that are kind to our heart.
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