National heart health month spreads awareness for heart disease prevention

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

February is National Heart Health month, bringing awareness to problems caused by a lack of cardiovascular health. This year, there is a specific focus on heart disease prevention.

According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States–but it is preventable. With resources and toolkits provided by sites like the Heart Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, information about heart disease prevention is readily available.

Heart disease isn’t a condition that should just be worried about once you’re an older adult. According to the CDC, heart disease can begin at any age. Heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high obesity rates, are becoming more prominent among younger people and putting them at risk for heart disease earlier in life.

There are ways to take care of your heart’s health. One way to do this is monitoring your blood pressure, whether or not you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The CDC offers a toolkit of high blood pressure resources with information and handouts that can help with understanding your blood pressure.

Another major way to protect a healthy heart is to keep a heart healthy lifestyle, according to the Heart Foundation

Maintaining weekly aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes a day can help strengthen your cardiovascular system and limit risk of heart disease. Other lifestyle changes include avoiding smoking, limiting saturated and trans fats in your diet and understanding your personal risk factors with your physician. These things help prevent larger risk factors from occurring, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. 

Take note of possible areas in your life where heart disease risk factors might need to be monitored. Understanding how to prevent heart disease and its risk factors will lead to a healthier life overall.

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected]