February is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States1. This month, we want to empower you to make heart-healthy choices. Prevention starts with understanding the risks and making small lifestyle changes.
Together, we can fight back against heart disease and stroke. Participate in the Heart Health Challenge, and be one-step closer.
The Heart Health Challenge
February 1: Reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by learning about your risk factors. The more risk factors you have, the higher your overall cardiovascular disease risk. Kick off the challenge by taking the risk factor quiz!
February 3: On National Wear Red Day®, wear something red to show your support for women with heart disease and stroke. Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds2. Wearing red helps create awareness. Be sure to share your photos with #GoRedWearRed.
February 5 – 11: Did you know that staying hydrated is essential to good heart-health? If you are well hydrated, your heart does not have to work as hard! Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles and helps the muscles work efficiently5. The amount of water a person should drink . Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more water. This week, try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.
February 12 – 18: Getting too much added sugar in your diet could significantly increase your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Consuming too much sugar is easier than you think. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda can contain your recommended daily max. This week, focus on limiting your added sugar intake by reducing or cutting foods such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, dairy / milk products and sweets such as candy, cake, cookies and pie. The average male should consume no more than 36 grams, while the average female should consume no more than 24 grams3.
February 19 – 25: There are countless ways you can get active, but walking is one of the easiest ways—and it is a form of cardiovascular exercise! Walking at least 30 minutes a day can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke4, and improve your blood pressure. This week, challenge yourself to walk 10,000 steps a day. Start by parking farther away, taking the stairs and using a fitness tracker to set alerts.
February 28: Schedule a visit with your doctor to learn your health numbers including Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). Talking to your health care provider and knowing your numbers can help determine your risk for developing Cardiovascular Disease.
If you accept the heart health challenge, share your stories, advice, tips and photos at the bottom of this post, or on our Facebook page to help motivate and empower others!