In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared February American Heart Month. The declaration was official with Proclamation 3566, signed Dec. 30, 1963, according to the American Heart Association. Since that time (when half of U.S. adult deaths were due to cardiovascular disease), advocates have launched efforts to educate the public on how heart disease can be prevented and identified.
This year American Heart Month celebrates its 56th year.
On the first Friday of February millions across the country participate in Wear Red Day. This year, on February 4th, people across the U.S. will wear the color red to promote heart disease prevention within their communities and raise awareness of the dangers of heart disease.
What You Can Do
Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in American with 650,000 deaths each year. Self-care is a key way you can prevent developing heart disease. In addition to proper nutrition, rest and exercise, seeing your doctor and attending your follow-up appointments is essential to taking care of your heart. Studies show that disease such as diabetes can make you more susceptible to heart disease and high blood pressure can lead to stroke, both of which potentially impact mobility. So ensuring a healthy heart can prevent certain mobility challenges or help preserve your mobility.
Keeping your heart healthy means paying attention to your daily activities and paying attention to your body. Use the following checklist to maintain your heart health.
- Get exercise
- Eat nutritious foods
- Take your prescription medications as directed
- Get the proper amount of sleep
- Go to your doctor’s appointments. Use available resources to access the care you need.
- Get your blood pressure checked
- Ensure you following your care protocols if you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes
- Don’t forget your mental and emotional health.