Here we are, already entering the second month of 2021. For those of us who dislike the winter months, we are halfway through! For those of you who like the winter months, hopefully February will bring you the winter you desire. I guess we will all know the second half of winter's fate this Tuesday thanks to the classic, and somewhat odd, tradition of Groundhog's Day.
Besides looking forward to a soothsaying rodent, February is also a great time for us to focus on our health, specifically our heart health. February is Heart Month in the United States; it is a time for us to reflect on this amazing organ and how we can keep it healthy and ticking. So, why do we need a full month to focus on heart health; well, by looking over heart data, it appears that we may be taking this incredible organ for granted. According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for almost 1 in 4 deaths. Every 36 seconds, a person dies due to cardiovascular disease. I am sure you know at least one person in your life that is affected by heart disease. Join me this month in celebrating our amazing hearts by learning what we can do to keep them in the best shape possible.
Before we discuss what we can do this month to take care of our hearts, let us look at a brief summary of what heart disease is and its risk factors. Heart disease is more of an umbrella term that covers many different diseases of the heart. The one that we may be most familiar about, since it is the most common one in the U.S., is coronary artery disease (CAD). Caused by plaque build up in the arteries, CAD slows blood flow to the heart. Many people may not even realize they have CAD until they suffer from a heart attack (CDC). That is why it is so important to take care of our hearts, and there's no better time to start than Heart Month.
To guard against heart disease, it is important to know the risk factors involved.
There are many different aspects of heart health that we could focus on this month. For information and ideas visit the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute or the American Heart Association.
Heart health is a topic that I am very passionate about. I have a long family history of heart disease and so it is very important for me to be vigilant with my heart health. Here are a few things that I will be focusing on this month to keep my heart in good shape. Please leave comments below on what you would like to work on this month for heart health.