How to Observe American Heart Month

Three Methods:Following Hearth Healthy AdviceJoining Hearth Healthy CausesCooking Heart Healthy Food

Every February, health organizations team up to reduce the prevalence of heart disease in America. As the leading cause of death, prevention and preparedness are essential to improve heart health.[1] You can observe American Heart Month by learning about heart disease, cooking heart healthy food and joining heart health campaigns.

Method 1
Following Hearth Healthy Advice

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    Stop smoking. Experts believe 20 to 40 percent of heart disease related deaths are due to smoking. Call your health insurance company or local hospital to inquire about smoking cessation programs.[2]
    • Some smoking cessation programs are free of charge to the smoker.
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    Get your cholesterol tested and reduce it if necessary. Make an appointment to get a complete blood count (CBC) test to see if you have high cholesterol. Every one percent you can reduce your cholesterol, you reduce your chances of heart attack by two to three percent.[3]
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    Reduce high blood pressure. Your doctor will test your blood pressure during routine appointments. They may suggest a medication to control it if it is above 120/80.
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    Increase your exercise. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by up to 55 percent by walking or engaging in other exercise for at least half an hour per day. Exercise can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, stress and weight, which add up to a healthier heart.
    • If you suffer from high-blood pressure or other conditions, it is important to increase your exercise slowly. Add approximately 15 more minutes per week. Increase the intensity by one level at a time to reduce the pressure on your circulatory system.
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    Get tested for diabetes. Type two diabetes and heart disease go hand in hand. You can lower your risk by consulting your doctor, taking prescribed medication, eating healthy and exercising.
    • Your fasting blood sugar should be below 100.[4]
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    Ask your family about heart disease. Genetics play an important part in determining your risk for heart disease. If your relatives have suffered from the problem, it is important that you eat right, exercise and get regular physicals.[5]
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    Lose weight if your body mass index (BMI) is over 25. Although it is an imperfect method of testing overall health, it shows you what percentage of body fat you are likely to have. Check your BMI with a simple internet search.
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    Learn the warning signs of a heart attack. These symptoms include chest pressure, sharp pains in the back, neck and jaw, cold sweats, sudden fatigue, light-headedness, nausea and shortness of breath. Seek medical attention immediately or call the Emergency Services if you are experiencing these feelings.[6]

Method 2
Joining Hearth Healthy Causes

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    Wear red. Make your celebration of heart health more noticeable by joining the women who wear red on the first Friday in February. One organization that promotes heart awareness by wearing red is “Go Red For Women.”
    • Learn more at
    • Post a picture of your office or friends “going red.” The Go Red For Women website has a Go Red picture challenge every February.
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    Register to attend an American Hearth Association (AHA) webinar. The AHA website, hosts webinars that include heart health discussions with national heart advocates and health experts.
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    Download the cardiovascular prevention guidelines provided by the American Heart Association. Print them out and distribute them to your family, friends, co-workers and community. Find an easy to follow infographic at
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    Donate money or time to the American Heart Association, Go Red for Women or another heart disease prevention cause. People who contribute are part of the “Circle of Red.”
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    Start a fundraiser for Go Red for Women day. You can host an event that will raise money to improve cardiovascular health. The Go Red for Women website provides a planning guide, flyers and posters.

Method 3
Cooking Heart Healthy Food

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    Make cherry and nut trail mix for a heart healthy snack. Mix three cups of high-fiber cereal with one-half cup (80g) of tart, dried cherries, one-fourth cup (25g) of walnuts, one oz. (28g) of pumpkin seeds and the zest of half a lemon. Oatmeal, walnuts and cherries are great for your heart.
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    Make spinach salad. Fill a large bowl with spinach. Add chopped apple, shredded carrot and diced red onion.
    • Make vinaigrette composed of two tsp. (10ml) olive oil, one tbsp. (14.8ml) of apple cider vinegar, one tsp. (5ml) of Dijon mustard, a pinch of pepper, two and a half tsp. (12.3ml) of apple juice. Shake it in a glass jar and pour over the salad.
    • Spinach, apples and other fresh produce are rich in nutrients that reduce weight and improve heart health.
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    Cook salmon with lemon-caper sauce to get your health omega 3 fatty acids. Combine one half cup (118ml) of non-fat Greek yogurt, one tbsp. (14.8ml) of capers, zest of one-fourth of a lemon and a half tsp., (7.4ml) of fresh lemon juice, minced shallots and minced parsley in a bowl. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 Celsius).
    • Place the sauce in the refrigerator.
    • Combine one cup (237ml) of white wine or low-sodium broth, one cup of water, one medium onion and a rib of chopped celery in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil.
    • Place the salmon in an oven safe dish. Pour the wine over it and bake for 12 minutes.
    • Spoon some creamy sauce over the salmon and serve.
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    Make a pineapple-mango frozen yogurt treat for dessert. Combine a chopped ripe mango, three-fourths of a cup (177ml) of pineapple juice, three tbsp. (44ml) of lemon juice, one cup (237ml) of non-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat frozen yogurt in a blender. Add ice cubes and a dash of vanilla extract.
    • Blend and serve in glasses or ice cream cups.
    • Fresh fruits and non-fat dairy are excellent for your heart. Avoid ingredients that already have sugar added.
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    Have a single alcoholic drink after your meal. One drink, and only one, can improve circulation and prevent heart attacks. Try a red wine or an alcoholic drink with low sugar content.


  • Consider purchasing a heart healthy cookbook, such as the Go Red for Women Cookbook. Eat plenty of fresh produce and avoid eating out at restaurants, where you can’t control the sugar and fat that are added to your food.

Things You'll Need

  • Red clothing
  • Produce
  • Healthy grains
  • Lean protein
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Nuts

Article Info

Categories: Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure