Each February, thousands of Americans raise awareness for the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States – heart disease. Heart Health Month has become an annual event filled with fundraisers and local events in support of researching efforts to help millions of Americans minimize the risk of heart disease.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD), or heart disease, can come in many forms, including heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia and heart failure. With cardiovascular disease claiming more lives than cancer, it’s imperative to know your risks and make significant changes to your lifestyle in order to make a difference in your overall health.
Here are some ways you can raise awareness during Heart Health Month:
- From a full red get-up to soft accents, sport rouge on National Wear Red Day, Friday, February 3. By wearing the month’s honorary color, you’re not only supporting the cause, but raising awareness for the “Go Red For Woman” movement.
- Put your social skills to good use and create a #HeartOfMyState video. This video campaign sends a powerful message to elected officials on why those affected by heart disease should be protected.
- Manage your risk of heart disease by taking the Know Your Numbers assessment. Smoking, high blood pressure and lack of regular activity are all contributing risk factors, but can be controlled with proper lifestyle changes and the consult of your healthcare provider.
- Take action through a charitable donation by donating funds to any of the major heart associations, like the American Heart Association (AHA). Give in honor of a loved one or just in support of the organization’s mission, whatever you give, no gift is too small.
- Motivate your peers to make small lifestyle changes. From organizing small seminars in your workplace to sharing insightful information on your social media pages, any effort will be recognized and help create awareness for the disease.
Though Heart Health Month is only celebrated in February, its affects are felt year round. The American Heart Association’s 2015-2016 annual report showed their efforts have helped reduce CVD mortality by 70% and trained 19 million people in CPR worldwide. With thanks to the millions of donators across the world, AHA has funded more than $4 billion in research since 1949 and continue to make a positive impact on heart disease with each donation.