February has been declared as American Heart Month by President Obama. The federal declaration notes, “cardiovascular disease—including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure—is responsible for one out of every three deaths. It is the No. 1 killer of American women and men, and it is a leading cause of serious illness and disability.”
Cardiovascular disease accounts for 17.3 million deaths per year. The number is expected to exceed 23.6 million in the year 2030. Millions of other Americans lose their lives to heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, etc. every year.
It has been noted that nearly half of Americans have at least one major risk factor. Many of them are unaware of the risk and react slowly to warning signs. Such risks include obesity, inactivity, diabetes and more. To control and avoid these risks maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and avoid smoking.
You can lower your risk of heart disease and heart attacks by doing the following:
Eat healthy. Foods such as cauliflower, pomegranate and lentils are good for the heart.
Stay Active. Exercise is key to maintaining a healthy life and heart.
No Smoking. Smoking leads to many health issues including heart problems. Secondhand smoking can lead to heart problems as well.
Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. High cholesterol and blood pressure raises your risk of heart attack as well as slow down and block blood flow to the heart.
Manage stress. Stress can lead to not only emotional, psychological and physical issues including heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains and irregular heart beats.
February is the month in which we as a country honor the memory of those we have lost, recommit to maintaining a healthy heart and continue the fight against heart disease not just for ourselves but our loved ones.
By wearing red during the month of February, we contribute to raising awareness of cardiovascular disease and provide a reminder that it is never too early to take action.