February is American Heart Month, when we draw attention to the fact that heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
• In 2010, an estimated 785,000 Americans had a new coronary attack, and about 470,000 had a recurrent attack.
• About every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and about one every minute will die from one.
• This is an equal opportunity disease affecting as many women as men.
There are steps you can take to reduce your risk.
We thought it would be fun to give you some creative ways to focus on your own heart health this month. See our Facebook page to join the discussion!
• Wear red! February 3rd is National Wear Red Day, a day when Americans nationwide wear red to show their support for women’s heart disease awareness. This special day gives everyone a chance to promote heart disease awareness movement by wearing red clothing or a Red Dress Pin.
• Plan heart-healthy dates. Doing something unusual can be romantic. So plan a date at an ice skating rink, go bowling, take a walk around a lake, take a Zumba class or learn to samba. End the night with a bit of dark chocolate.
• Get a change of scenery. Escape the day-to-day stress by heading out of town. Take a day trip to the mountains or the beach. Or plan a longer excursion to a spa destination. Rent a cabin in the woods. Or if you can’t leave town, take an afternoon off for a couples massage. Turn off your electronic devices and simply enjoy living in the moment.
• Dine out with friends. Look online at the nutrition information for local restaurants, and choose one with healthy options. Then gather your friends for a feast of sharing. Each person can order something different and heart-healthy from the menu. Sample a bit of everything, family style.
And one more idea: Shop for a lasting reminder to take care of your hearts at the American Heart Association’s Shop.heart.org.