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Five Ways You Can Observe American Heart Month

February 18, 2022 Pegalis Law Group

Most people associate hearts with February because of Valentine’s Day. However, it is also American Heart Month, a time to shine a spotlight on cardiovascular health. Heart disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States, with over 800,000 Americans suffering from a heart attack per year. While you’re exchanging candy hearts and teddy bears with the people you love, be sure to take some time to think about your heart. Below, Pegalis Law Group, LLC presents five ways you can observe American Heart Month and make a commitment to improving your heart health this year.

1. Educate Yourself About Heart Disease & Risk Factors

The best way to celebrate American Heart Month is to educate yourself about heart disease and identify your risk factors. Heart disease affects people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders. If you have a family history of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or you smoke or drink alcohol excessively, you could be putting yourself at a higher risk.

Another vital part of heart disease awareness is recognizing heart attack symptoms. Often referred to as the silent killer, not all heart attacks are apparent. At least one in five people won’t even know they had one. Knowing what to look for and when to call 911 could mean the difference between life and death for you or a loved one. Symptoms of a heart attack may vary, but they typically include:

  • Intense chest pain and pressure spreading to the arms
  • Upper body pain (upper back, arms, shoulders, or jaw)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cold sweats
  • Indigestion pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Severe fatigue

2. Commit to at Least One Heart-Healthy Habit This Month

In honor of American Heart Month, commit to at least one heart-healthy habit this month. Whether it’s giving up smoking, drinking more water instead of sodas, or walking daily, try to keep up this new habit the rest of the year. Watching your weight, diet, blood pressure, and cholesterol is all essential to your heart health. Commit to loving yourself and making healthier lifestyle choices.

3. Schedule Annual Physical & Get Cholesterol Checked

The next time you schedule your annual physical, ask your doctor to check your cholesterol. Those with high cholesterol are at a higher risk for heart disease, but you can make healthy adjustments to your diet. Depending on your age and risk factors, your doctor may have you complete a cardio-pulmonary evaluation during your physical. This may involve you walking on a treadmill to test stress on your heart. Your doctor may also order a non-invasive heart and lung CT scan or ultrasound to get a closer look at your organs. If anything seems amiss, you’ll be referred to a heart specialist who can help you devise a personalized wellness plan.

4. Participate in an Organized Heart Health Walk

Many organizations host heart walks during February to fundraise for heart disease research. Heart walks give you the chance to connect with others with heart disease and get moving. Walking is an excellent form of exercise. Research has shown that walking five miles per week can lower your risk of a heart attack by over 30 percent. Walking reduces inflammation and mental stress while promoting healthy weight loss, so get out there today!

5. Host a Heart-Healthy Potluck at Work or Home

Whether out of boredom or depression, we often eat worse during the winter. While many Americans are focused on football and fatty, fried foods this month, consider hosting a heart-healthy potluck at work or home. Ask the participants to use easy, enjoyable recipes and bring recipe cards for their dishes. You might discover a new favorite recipe that’s good for your heart this year.

Receive Additional Insights to Be Proactive About Your Health

As a New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm, Pegalis Law Group, LLC is committed to raising public awareness and creating proactive patients. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about how you can be more proactive about your healthcare this year and in the future.