Healthcare professionals know the importance of heart health — what it is, why it matters, and what it means for patients. This is especially top of mind in February during American Heart Month. Originally proclaimed in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Heart Month has served as an annual observance to spread awareness of the impact of heart disease as the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
So whether you’re a clinician or a patient, here are some actions you can take throughout February to observe and celebrate Heart Month.
Wear red on National Wear Red Day
Friday, February 2 is National Wear Red Day. Wear this bright and bold color to encourage conversation and spread awareness about the importance of heart health! It’s especially stylish on Valentine’s Day, but wearing red throughout the month is an easy way to spark a conversation.
Share on social media
Post a selfie on National Wear Red Day (using hashtag #wearredday) to spread awareness to your social network. Throughout the month, you can also share key facts about heart health, such as these from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds in the United States.1
- In 2021, 1 in every 5 deaths in the United States was caused by heart disease — nearly 700,000 people!1,2
- One person dies every 33 seconds from cardiovascular disease in the United States.2
Engage in heart-healthy activities
Heart-pumping physical activity is the primary way to maintain good heart health. But it doesn’t have to be extreme! If your current activity level is low, start by taking a walk. Aim to walk a few times a week to keep your heart health top of mind. And if you’re already physically active, encourage a loved one to join you. Share why you care about their heart health, and how exercise is excellent disease prevention and a mood booster. Heart health can also improve in the kitchen. Try new healthy recipes throughout the month and make it a family affair. Get the whole family involved in shopping for ingredients and making meals, so everyone is aware of what makes a heart-healthy meal.
Donate to a heart health organization
Multiple organizations are working toward solutions for heart disease, and to help those dealing with its effects. Here are a few trusted organizations you can donate to for help with research, medical care, and heart health awareness efforts.
- American Heart Association
- The Children’s Heart Foundation
- WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
- World Heart Federation
Get a checkup
Use Heart Month as your annual reminder to visit your healthcare provider for a checkup. Early detection is the best way to prevent long-term damage from heart disease, so it’s critical to monitor changes from year to year. If you’re a clinician, using a digital stethoscope allows for the most accurate and clear patient exams. Learn how you can detect signs of heart disease earlier with Eko's advanced stethoscope technology.
Those are just a few ways to observe Heart Month. We encourage you to explore other ways to maintain or improve your heart health — not just in February, but all year!
1. Tsao CW, Aday AW, Almarzooq ZI, Beaton AZ, Bittencourt MS, Boehme AK, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2023 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2023;147:e93–e621.
2. National Center for Health Statistics. Multiple Cause of Death 2018–2021 on CDC WONDER Database.
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