Fall in Love with Heart Health
February is definitely the month of hearts. With Valentine’s Day at the center of attention, cartoon hearts and pink and red colors are everywhere. But February is also a big month for hearts that aren’t the cartoon kind.
February is American Heart Month, so we decided to take a quick look at what heart disease is, why it matters so much, and some quick tips and tricks to improve your heart health this month and all year!
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease can refer to a lot of different conditions. Basically, heart disease is anything that affects your heart, including:
- Arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats
- Cardiac Arrest, or a sudden loss of heart function
- High Cholesterol
- Congenital Heart Defects, or heart defects present at birth
- Heart Failure, or failures to pump enough blood
- Heart Valve Problems
- High Blood Pressure
Why Heart Disease?
Few national awareness months get as much attention as American Heart Month. The reason? Approximately 610,000 Americans die each year from heart disease. That means 1 in 4 deaths in the US is a result of heart disease.
There are also a staggering number of Americans who are affected by heart disease and survive every year. On average, 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. With so many Americans impacted, the American Heart Association has focused heavily on raising awareness over the last two decades.
For women especially, heart health was a long-overlooked issue. In 2003, when the American Heart Association launched their Go Red for Women campaign, over 500,000 women died from heart disease in the US each year. At that time, the majority of women surveyed believed heart attacks and heart disease were primarily male disorders, and as a result were wholly unaware of their own risks.
Over the last 15 years, the Go Red campaign has worked through education programming to drastically drop this number—a more than 30% decrease in heart disease deaths in women in the last decade. However, despite this progress, 1 in 3 women who die each year die from heart disease or strokes.
What can I do?
The good news? A big part of managing heart disease centers on lifestyle changes you can do. Diet and exercise are always important, but they are especially vital to heart health. Quitting smoking, regular activity, and avoiding saturated fats when possible are all the top recommended tips for showing your heart a little extra love.
Heart health is important at every age. At Cool Springs, we believe in playing hard and staying active. From our youth sports to our Silver Sneakers programming for seniors, our goal is to provide all ages and interests with the programs they need to stay fit and active.
Your heart is, quite literally, the organ that keeps you alive. This month and every month, show it a little love!