Cooler weather and romance are typically the first things you think about in February, but the American Heart Association wants to remind you to think about a different kind of heart this month. February is American Heart Month, and it represents an important opportunity for all to take the necessary steps to improve their heart health.

What is the purpose of American Heart Month?

Heart disease remains the number one cause of death for men and women in America, which is why the American Heart Association designates February as American Heart Month.

American Heart Month is significant because the American Heart Association and other medical organizations use this time to raise awareness of the importance of adopting or maintaining heart-healthy lifestyle habits and seeking treatment as early as possible in the event of warning signs. You can take action by reviewing your own lifestyle choices, talking about heart-healthy habits with friends and family, and even sharing National Heart Month posts on social media.

What can I do to improve my own heart health?

Your first goal during American Heart Month should be to review the activities that affect your heart and take appropriate action where needed. If you are a smoker, use this as an opportunity to get help and quit. Incorporate more fresh vegetables and fruits into your diet, and reduce your consumption of processed sugars and saturated fats. Start an exercise regimen that you can maintain, even if it only involves brisk walking several times per week. Small steps can add up to big impacts when it comes to your heart health.

How can I look after my heart for the future?

Keeping your heart in good shape is a lifelong commitment, but it has to start somewhere. This February, dedicate yourself to changing what you can now, and make a plan for your long-term goals. For patients with heart conditions, early diagnosis is vital. If you think you may be suffering from some kind of heart condition already, see a medical heart specialist such as a cardiologist or a cardiac electrophysiologist as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one are living with a heart rhythm disorder such as atrial fibrillation, contact Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. Our team of EP doctors has been serving patients in Sarasota and surrounding cities including Port Charlotte, Venice, Tampa, and Sun City Center for over a decade.