Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both American men and women. African American men are especially susceptible. So it’s good news that February is National Heart Month, since it inspires us to examine one of the most pressing health concerns in the United States and to make positive changes to our lifestyles.
February also hosts Valentine’s Day, which is all about affairs of the heart, so it’s a good match.
Let’s take a closer look at American Heart Month.
American Heart Month timeline
- February 1964
Off and running!
The first American Heart Month takes place.
- December 30, 1963
President Johnson makes it official
President Lyndon Johnson issues a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month.
As serious as a ...
American cardiologist James Herrick determines the causes of angina and is credited with inventing the term “heart attack.”
William Harvey, the personal physician to King Charles I, publishes “On the Motion of the Heart and Blood,” and is credited with discovering how blood circulates through the heart.
How to Observe American Heart Month
It’s never been easier to start exercising. Our digital world is overflowing will all sorts of apps and information to help you find an exercise regimen that works for you — and to stick with it.
Cook up a tasty, heart-healthy meal.
There’s plenty of good and healthy recipes out there. Why not whip one up? Maybe a chicken and bean tostada with avocado. Yum!
Wear red. Go red. Glow red.
The American Heart Association also encourages people to participate in “National Wear Red Day For Women” on the first Friday in February. According to the AHA, it’s a “massive national public awareness day … urging women, people from all walks of life ... to ‘go red’ and ‘glow red’” in bringing attention to heart disease.
Why American Heart Month is Important
It reminds us to learn about good and healthy food
Eating heart healthy doesn’t necessarily mean giving up all your favorite foods. It just means making sure you provide your body with the nutrient-rich food it needs to survive and thrive.
It's a federal event
President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation (#3566, to be exact) in 1963 recognizing February as American Heart Month. Johnson wrote, “I urge the people of the United States to give heed to the nationwide problem of the heart and blood-vessel diseases, and to support the programs required to bring about its solution.”
It's sponsored by The American Heart Association
According to the American Heart Association, American Heart Month “is a great way to remind Americans to focus on their hearts and encourage them to get their families, friends and communities involved. Together, we can build a culture of health where making the healthy choice is the easy choice.”