February is known as the month of love; especially given this week’s #Valentine’sDay holiday, which dates all the way back to ancient Rome and the early Christians. But did you know February is also #AmericanHeartMonth? In this special year, President Barack Obama ushered in the 50th Anniversary of the celebration of efforts and progress the United States has made and will continue to research on the nation’s number 1 killer, #heartdisease. So as flowers, candy, and plastic hearts fill the store aisles, be sure to keep in mind the health of your own heart, and what you can do to protect yourself and those that you love.
On January 31, President Obama continued a tradition that began 50 years ago with President Lyndon Baines Johnson, addressing the concerns of Heart Disease and declaring that “maintaining a strong heart is key to a long and healthy life.” President Obama’s speech touched upon the risk factors of the disease, and described how February marks our renewal of our fight against the epidemic, both as a Nation and in each of our own lives.
“While anyone can develop heart disease, those with high blood pressure or high cholesterol and those who smoke are at greater risk,” he wrote. He continued by saying that by adopting a few healthy habits like getting regular exercise and eating diets rich in fruits and vegetables and low in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol, each of us can reduce our risk. – See more at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/31/presidential-proclamation-american-heart-month-2014.
The path to achieving a healthier heart & body is a journey, and every journey begins with one step. So why not start now? This doesn’t mean you need to empty the junk food drawer on the spot, or begin a flash diet today. It means that in this month while you are touching the hearts of others, be sure to give some love to your own heart. As you begin your journey to better heart health, keep these helpful things in mind from the @CDC.
- Don’t become overwhelmed. Every step brings you closer, no matter how small.
- Don’t go it alone. Ask friends and family to join you in efforts.
- Don’t get discouraged. You may not be able to take all of the steps at one time. Get a good night’s sleep and do what you can tomorrow.
- Reward yourself. Find fun things to do to decrease your stress. Round up some colleagues for a lunchtime walk, join a singing group, or have a healthy dinner with your family or friends.
- Plan for Prevention Yes, Some health conditions and lifestyle factors can put people at a higher risk for developing heart disease. Get to know your own body and medical conditions.
For more ideas about simple steps to take every day for better heart health, visit http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/. You can also follow the Million Hearts™ initiative for even more ways to protect your heart and live a longer, healthier life. Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2017.
Together, we can prevent heart disease, one step at a time. Protect your heart this Valentine’s Day.