Our View: February offers health reminders

Published 9:45 am Monday, February 4, 2019

February marks two different but equally important health-related observations with American Heart Month and Self-Check Month.

With one in four deaths being related to heart disease, it is the leading cause of death in the U.S.

Most cases of heart disease can be prevented. American Hearth Month is recognized to raise awareness about how to prevent this disease, by promoting ways to reduce our risks for the heart disease.

Email newsletter signup

Risk factors for heart disease include obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol or diabetes.

With the prevalence of heart disease, it is important for individuals and families to be aware of the risk factors and make small, daily changes that can reduce those risks.

Visit www.millionhearts.hhs.gov to learn more about the risks and how to prevent heart disease and stroke. Use #AmericanHeartMonth to share on social media.

If you want to avoid the risk of heart disease, there are a few things you can do.

According to the American Heart Association:

— Don’t smoke, and if you’re already a smoker, do your best to quit.

— The next step you can take is managing any conditions you may have such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Take your medication as prescribed by your doctor.

— Next, make heart-healthy diet decisions. Eat whole foods that are low in trans-fat, saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar. A good rule of thumb is to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

— Finally, get moving. Living a sedentary lifestyle will put you at a much greater risk for heart disease.

Fittingly, National Self-Check Month coincides nicely with Hearth Month.

National Self-Check Month is a reminder to take charge of your health and increase the odds avoiding chronic disease and other often preventable conditions.

During this month, Americans are encouraged take a proactive rather than reactive approach to their health by using early detection and prevention resources. Additionally, Self-Check Month offers an opportunity to talk with our loves ones who may be at risk for preventable diseases.

This month, schedule your wellness checkup and visit your healthcare provider for any health-related concerns you may have.

Whatever your reason for avoiding addressing your health, February offers two great reminders to make small changes and seek the help of medical professionals to reduce our risk of potentially fatal and life-altering conditions.

We encourage you to take some proactive steps this month to improve your health and wellbeing.