February is all about love. Red hearts are everywhere, but the month isn’t just for paper hearts. It’s also the American Heart Association’s American Heart Month. That’s why #NWArkCares, a group of local bloggers here in Northwest Arkansas, is focusing on actual hearts this month.
Did you know heart disease is the LEADING cause of death for both MEN and WOMEN?
- Heart disease and stroke accounted for one out of every three deaths in Arkansas in 2007.
- Both the coronary heart disease mortality rate and the stroke mortality rate in Arkansas were higher than the national average, and Arkansas had the highest stroke mortality rate in any state in 2007 (Arkansas Dept. of Health Cardiovascular Health State Plan).
- In September of 2015, new data revealed Arkansas is now the most obese state in the nation with 35.9 percent of the adult population scoring 35% or higher on the Body Mass Index Chart. A healthy adult will generally score between 20-25% on the BMI scale.
All of these indicators should set off alarm bells. A heavier population leads to greater risk for heart disease and we are seeing the results of that in Arkansas.
That’s the bad news. Now, what can we do about it?
That’s what American Heart month is all about. Here’s some great ways to get involved locally to raise awareness for healthy hearts and lives.
- February 5th – National Wear RED Day – Break out your Valentine’s Day shirt a little early. Post a picture on social media showing your support for heart health. #nwarkcares #GoRedWearRed
- February 16th – Go Red For Women Luncheon at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers, Arkansas. Be inspired to get heart healthy and motivate others to make changes in their lives and communities. Register at American Heart Association of Northwest Arkansas.
- April 16th – Participate in the NWA Heart Walk and 5K Fun Run at Arvest Ball Park. Join others in giving your heart a work out and raise money for heart health awareness. Register here.
- May 16th- Attend the NWA Heart Ball, a black tie affair centered on building healthier lives. NWA Heart Ball information.
Events are great, but here’s some ideas you can use in your home and everyday life.
- Get certified in CPR. There are many opportunities locally to obtain certification. Find a course near you at cpr.heart.org.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and stroke in both men and women.
Remember, if you’re not sure if it’s a heart attack or stroke, it’s better to be cautious and seek medical attention immediately. Minutes matter!
- Become an advocate for healthy living, whether in your family or in your community. Find ways to include exercise in your days. Begin to plan meals around foods that will create good health instead of increasing your risk for heart disease.
The American Heart Association has a great website devoted to healthy living. It includes ideas for families to exercise together, healthy eating, weight and stress management and other helpful tools. Check it out and make a commitment today to a healthier heart!