Each year, National Heart Health Month is observed in February. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one cause of death, killing over 17 million people every year. The month is a very important period during the year. Awareness is created about the various heart conditions, and it goes a long way to help reduce the rate at which heart-related diseases are taking the lives of people. We need to use this month to take extra care of our heart health and help those who already suffer from heart diseases.
History of National Heart Healthy Month
The human heart is a vital organ that pumps blood throughout the body via the vessels of the circulatory system, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and removing carbon dioxide and other metabolic wastes. It is the first functional organ to develop and starts to beat and pump blood about three weeks after an embryo is formed. Humans have been aware of the heart since ancient times, even though its exact function and structure were not clearly understood from the onset.
Diseases relating to the heart and the blood vessels are generally referred to as ‘cardiovascular diseases.’ Their risk factors include high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and high cholesterol levels. The majority of them are noncommunicable and related to lifestyle and other factors, becoming more prevalent with age. The diseases frequently do not have clear symptoms and can grow for months unnoticed; until after diagnosis is done through the taking of medical history, ultrasound, and listening to the heart sounds with a stethoscope.
People, families, and organizations are encouraged to actively participate in the activities of this month, from preparing heart-healthy meals to setting up online support groups to encourage one another to eat healthier, work out, and mainly develop healthier habits. Having a proper understanding of heart conditions is quite complex, but that is just what the month has been set aside for. With proper commitment and attention, we all can effectively learn about this vital organ and how best to keep it in perfect working condition.
National Heart Healthy Month timeline
Leonardo da Vinci sketches diagrams of the heart and its blood vessels.
English physician William Harvey publishes a book describing the systemic circulation and mechanical force of the heart.
Medical practitioners begin to understand the effect of cholesterol and the role of diets with low fat in connection with cardiovascular health.
South African Surgeon Christiaan Barnard performs the first successful heart transplant.
National Heart Healthy Month FAQs
Does smoking affect the heart?
Yes, the chemicals in tobacco smoke can harm your blood cells. They can also damage the effective functioning of your heart and blood vessels.
Can exercise reduce heart blockage?
Cardiovascular exercise improves the pumping and circulation of blood, which may help reduce the chances of developing blockages or clots in the arteries.
What is the size of the heart?
For kids, the heart is about the same size as their fist, and for adults, the same size as two fists.
How to Observe National Heart Healthy Month
Improve your health habits
Beginning with the kinds of foods you eat to how well you exercise, make a conscious effort to be better with the habits that directly impact your health. Over time, you will benefit from the reward of a healthy heart and whole body.
Spread information about heart health
Either through direct talk or from your social media platforms, share important facts and tips about how best to keep the heart in the best form. By doing so, you will be helping many people.
Help people quit unhealthy habits
Habits such as smoking and overeating ultimately harm the heart. Create platforms to assist people with these kinds of poor habits to change for the better.
5 Facts About The Human Heart That Will Amaze You
It supplies blood to every cell
Apart from the cornea, every cell in the human body gets blood from the heart.
It works really hard
In a day, the heart beats around 100,000 times and pumps around 1.5 gallons of blood per minute.
It is spiritually significant
The heart is an emblematic symbol in many religions, signifying truth, conscience, or moral courage.
It has its own electrical impulse
Due to this, the heart can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen.
It is psychologically influenced
Happiness and a strong sense of emotional vitality help lower the risk of heart disease.
Why National Heart Healthy Month is Important
It helps us value the heart
Not everyone is aware of just how complex the heart is and how much work it does. This Heart Health Month helps us realize this and take better care of it.
It helps spread love
Besides the fact that the heart symbolically represents the emotion of love, this month helps us collectively show love to others by caring enough to help them have better heart health. This ultimately makes us better human beings.
It unites us for a good cause
Through the common cause of advancing heart health, people all around the world are united. This is encouraged and should happen continuously.
National Heart Healthy Month dates