The nation comes together every February to celebrate American Heart Month. Traditionally a time to celebrate lovers, this month also reminds us to take care of our heart. From coast to coast, everyone is encouraged to wear red in observance of the event. From news anchors to landmarks, from online communities to neighborhoods, this annual groundswell unites millions of people for a common goal: fight stroke and heart disease.
How It Started
This annual celebration of heart health started in 1963 to encourage Americans to join the fight against heart disease. A presidential proclamation honors the combined efforts of all physicians, researchers, volunteers, and public health professionals. Because of them, researching, preventing, and treating heart disease can be possible.
Hospitals and health institutions around the country aim to educate their communities about the illness. Staff wear red and volunteers crochet or knit pint-sized red hats for newborns. They also hold heart health awareness events and provide free screening tests.
It’s the perfect time to remind everyone in your community to make small lifestyle changes that can ultimately improve their health and quality of life. There’s still plenty of time to get involved. Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart illness and living heart friendly lives.
Chances are, you know someone affected by stroke and heart disease. That’s because about 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease every day, which equates to an average of one death every 40 seconds. The good news is that people who make healthy choices can better manage their health conditions. Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and make a difference. Here are a few ideas:
- Encourage families to take up small changes, like reducing their salt consumption and using spices to season their food.
- Motivate administrators and educators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can embed the importance of exercise in students early and help them develop good habits.
- Ask nurses and doctors to be leaders in their communities and to speak out about the ways families can prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Create An Event
Whether you are dealing with a heart condition and want to inspire others with your story or you just want to be a volunteer for heart health month, you can reach a bigger audience by creating an event. Here are some tips and ideas for this project:
- Offer free blood pressure checks with an optional donation jar to raise funds.
- Host a healthy bake sale to raise awareness and funds using healthy recipes at https://recipes.heart.org/.
- Hand out educational pamphlets at your event. Download heart-healthy only documents from reputable sites.
- Distribute red flowers to heart disease survivors or plant red roses to honor patients with stroke or heart disease.
Wear red, give, and open your heart. Contribute to the American Heart Association’s efforts to help build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Help raise the awareness that heart disease is a huge threat to everyone’s health and encourage the people you know to act. This month, make a statement for a great cause.