In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first proclamation declaring February American Heart Month. Each year, this is a time to spotlight heart disease, by bringing awareness and sharing how to take steps to prevent this deadly disease.
According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. They also offer tips on action items you can take to prevent heart disease:
- Know your risk. Knowing your risk can help you make lifestyle changes.
- Eat a healthy diet. Start making healthy choices that include daily vegetables and less processed foods.
- Be physically active. Move more – it’s one of the best ways to stay healthy, prevent disease, and age well.
- Watch your weight. Stay at a healthy weight for you.
- Check your blood pressure and cholesterol. These are two main risk factors that could lead to heart disease.
Raising awareness is essential not only in the month of February but also year-round. It’s the awareness that can ultimately save a life and on the first Friday of February, the nation celebrates National Wear Red Day to bring greater attention to heart disease as a leading cause of death for Americans.
It’s also the perfect time to take training from the American Red Cross on how to perform Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to help save lives. Cardiac arrest claims thousands of lives every year. Red Cross CPR/AED classes can help you save a life when every moment counts.
Take a lifesaving class today, at redcross.org/take-a-class.
Written by Maria Arango, American Red Cross Public Affairs