February is American Heart Awareness Month. “Go Red for Women” is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.
National Wear Red Day® is February 1.
One in three. Heart Disease claims the lives of 1 in 3 women. That’s a third of mothers, sisters, and friends. It’s time to learn more about Women’s Heart Health.
It is imperative that women learn the warning signs and symptoms of heart disease and stroke, see a doctor regularly, and learn their family history.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
Make a difference in your community: Spread the word about strategies for preventing heart disease and encourage people to live heart healthy lives.
How can American Heart Month make a difference?
We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt. Salt retains fluid. Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends that:
- Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of salt)
- Most adults ideally have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day
- Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
- Obese children are more likely to be obese adults. Successfully preventing or treating overweight in childhood may help reduce the risk of heart disease, adult obesity and other complications.
- Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
This prayer is from the book, “Prayers for the Soul Comfort for Parish Nurses & the People they Serve,” used with permission.
Janelle Maciej is a Faith Community Nurse at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Bowlus since November 2018 and Telemetry Nurse at the St. Cloud Hospital for 14 years. Janelle graduated from St. Cloud State University with her BSN in nursing. Janelle has Dan, her supportive husband of 11 years. Together they have three beautiful children: Lauren, age 8, Nate, age 6 and Megan, age 4, that keep her busy. Janelle is excited to see what Faith Community Nursing has in store for her and looks forward to helping others connect to their spiritual health as well as their physical and mental health.
US Department of Health and Human Services. (January 2019). February Heart Month. Retrieved from https://healthfinder.gov/nho/februarytoolkit.aspx
American Heart Association. (Feb 12, 2016). What is Childhood Obesity. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyKids/ChildhoodObesity/What-ischildhood-obesity_UCM_304347_Article.jsp#.XC6dWvZFy-p