February is National Heart Month. Perhaps as someone interested in health (that’s why you are here, right?)– you may think, “I’m healthy, I’ll never have to worry about heart disease.” And hopefully that is the case, but many people think they are immune and often don’t know the risks of heart disease until it’s too late. With stats like “1 of every 3 people in America are affected by heart disease,” it’s likely you at least know someone who is at risk for or is already dealing with the consequences of heart disease. If that’s not enough to convince you of the importance of raising awareness during this month (and all year long!), heart conditions cost Americans an estimated $44 BILLION in health care and lost economic productivity. That’s a lot of money! By taking part in the fight against heart disease, whether it is changing your habits or encouraging someone else to change theirs, you will not only be improving someone’s health and quality of life, but helping to cut unnecessary health care costs that this country faces.
To raise awareness about heart disease and decrease the number of people affected by it, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS) have created the Million Hearts Program, with a goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next 5 years.
While we cannot do anything to control our genetics and some people are more likely to have high cholesterol and blood pressure (2 major risk factors for heart disease), we can control our diet and activity level, both of which play a large role in our risk for heart disease.
Here’s to health hearts!
your food and fitness friend.