This February during American Heart Month, Million Hearts® is challenging men to start one new, heart-healthy behavior. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, and African American men are disproportionately affected more by heart disease than other races or ethnicities.
Simple changes can make a big difference! Here are some ideas for getting started:
- Talk to your doctor about ways to control high blood pressure.
- Add physical activity to your daily routine.
- Make heathy eating swaps, such as using fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.
- Quit smoking.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
African American men can make a big difference in their heart health by taking these small steps during the month of February and beyond.
Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about heart health. It's important to schedule regular check-ups even if you think you are not sick. Partner with your doctor and health care team to set goals for improving your heart health, and don't be afraid to ask questions and trust their advice.
Add exercise to your daily routine. Start off the month by walking 15 minutes, 3 times each week. Mid-month, increase your time to 30 minutes, 3 times each week.
Increase healthy eating. Cook heart-healthy meals at home at least 3 times each week and make your favorite recipe lower sodium. For example, swap out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices.
Take steps to quit smoking. If you currently smoke, quitting can cut your risk for heart disease and stroke. Talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications.
If you're having trouble taking your medicines on time or if you're having side effects, ask your doctor for help.
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.