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Club Chronicles: Observe February as American Heart Month

Valentine’s Day falls in February, and this is traditionally the month for lovers and all things heart-related. Fittingly, then, February is the American Heart Month.

This month is to remind us to take care of our hearts. The annual celebration began in 1963 to encourage Americans to join the battle against heart disease.

Since 2004 February also has been the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. This campaign is a comprehensive platform designed to increase women’s heart health awareness and serve as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women globally.

Heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women. Nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented by changing lifestyle.

In recognition of February as Heart Health Month, members of the GFWC/AFWC Book Lovers Study Club wear red to their meeting. Either an institute or program is presented on heart health facts.

However, it’s no longer just about wearing red or sharing heart health facts. It’s about women making a commitment to take charge of their own heart health as well as the health of those they can’t bear to live without.

We know exercise and a good diet can keep your heart healthy. Dr. Gillinov, Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, recommends five key things to do every day to help your heart working more efficiently:

  1. Eat healthy fats, not trans fats.
  2. Practice good dental hygiene, especially flossing your teeth daily.
  3. Get enough sleep, which is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy.
  4. Don’t sit for too long at one time.
  5. Avoid secondhand smoke like the plague.

By following these tips, you will be doing your heart a favor. You’ll feel better and be able to stay active with a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Club Chronicles is written by Susie Hovater Malone.