Find out how the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute raises awareness about heart health to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors.
February is American Heart Month. Why is this awareness campaign or event important? Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women. In fact, heart disease accounts for one in every four deaths each year!
Heart disease can be prevented. Through awareness, February’s celebration of American Heart Month encourages people to make healthy choices to help them reduce their cardiovascular disease risk.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is one of the best places to look for awareness about heart health. Let’s take a look at what they’re doing to prepare for American Heart Month 2020.
National Wear Red Day
Celebrated on the first Friday of February (February 7), National Wear Red Day encourages people to do just that, wear red! NHLBI will be partnering with organizations around the country to bring attention to the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans.
On the NHLBI website, organizations and individuals can print posters to hang in their workplace, faith-based institution, or clinic. They can also print out #WearRedDay stickers to share with community members and coworkers.
The Institute also has downloadable images that can be shared on Facebook and Twitter, pre-written articles for newsletters, and PowerPoint slides for educational presentations.
There’s no shortage of ways to get involved on February 7th!
Resources to Get Involved
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s website has even more resources and ideas to share with readers. With a goal to motivate Americans to adopt lifestyles that are healthier to prevent heart disease, they encourage people to join together.
Through weekly themes, participants get recommendations for healthy activities that can be completed together with a group of people.
Week one is all about being physically active. Participants are encouraged to start a walking club or join an exercise class.
Week two is for healthy eating—sharing healthy recipes, going grocery shopping with friends or family, or making a heart healthy potluck meal.
Tracking heart health is the focus for week three. Readers are reminded to track their blood pressure, sleep patterns, and healthy weight goals.
Week four is all about supporting each other to manage stress, quit smoking and sleep better. NHLBI recommends yoga or meditation and sticking to an early bedtime. Participants are also encouraged to ask for support when it comes to quitting smoking.
To help people feel like they’re joining forces with others, it is suggested that everyone shares a photo or a post about their activities on social media.
The #OurHearts Movement
To demonstrate a nation-wide effort for creating awareness around heart disease, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has created an #OurHearts hashtag to be shared on Twitter and Instagram. By doing so, people in any state can join others around the United States in committing to heart health. The institute even has an interactive map that will show heart emojis in the state where someone posts using the #OurHearts hashtag. The same map can also be used for anyone to share a heart healthy event.
The Heart Truth
The Heart Truth is NHLBI’s campaign to raise awareness about women and heart disease. In the United States, one in five women will die from heart disease. 90% of women have at least one risk factor for heart disease. The Heart Truth online materials include outreach toolkits, social media resources, videos, state-based info cards, and educational materials. Tying in with American Heart Month, this campaign hopes to increase awareness for heart disease in women.
Did you know that heart disease was so prevalent? One in four Americans will die from heart disease. What are you doing to stay heart healthy? February is the best time to start adopting a healthy diet, plan a walking schedule, or quit smoking. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is a great resource for planning heart healthy activities. Check out their website and don’t forget to wear red on February 7th!