is responsible for 25% of deaths in the United States annually. Many people do not realize how preventable heart disease is, simply by making healthy diet and lifestyle choices.
The month of February is an opportunity for health professionals, friends, and family to become educated about and aware of heart disease and how to prevent it. Together, we can work to decrease the amount of heart disease-related deaths and keep people healthy.
How can you make a difference?
Start with those closest to you
: You are the one who can have the biggest influence on your friends and family
. Start a conversation with them about heart disease and what you can do together to prevent it. Simple changes like using less salt to season meals and exercising more can make a big difference.
Listen to health professionals:
Consider inviting a doctor
or nurse to speak to your community about ways to prevent heart disease.
Reach out to your local schools: Talk to the administrators and teachers about providing physical activity and exercise opportunities to students during the school day.
How can you spread the word?
The best way to raise awareness is through personal conversation. Talk to your coworkers, friends and family about the importance of American Heart Month.
You can also use social media to spread the word. Make a Facebook post, Instagram post or tweet about American Heart Month and heart disease to get the conversation started.
What can you do to prevent heart disease?
Here are some practical things you can do to prevent heart disease.
At Work: Take breaks during your workday to move. Walk to lunch instead of driving; take the stairs, and encourage your coworkers to do the same. Creating a healthy work environment will encourage people to make healthy choices in all aspects of their lives.
Make your home an active and healthy place for your family. Children
learn and begin good habits from their parents, so see what you can do every day to teach your kids about living healthy lifestyles. Make it fun – cook, and exercise together, and have conversations with your kids about ways they can make healthy choices.
Out to eat: Eating healthy while out can be especially hard. But if you make a few simple, important choices, your heart will thank you. Avoid adding extra salt to your food. Most restaurant food already contains a lot of sodium, and the extra salt is unnecessary and harmful to your heart’s health. Also, look for menu items that are grilled instead of fried.
Keep the conversations and healthy habits going even after February is over. The best way to raise awareness is leading by example. When you live a healthy lifestyle, you inspire those around you to do the same.