With Brian Jaffe, MD, Cardiac Electrophysiology, UP Health System
If the classic shape of a heart pops into your mind when you think of February, you’re not alone. With Valentine’s Day falling at the exact mid-point of the month, stores are filled with heart-shaped cards, candy, and more to celebrate the annual holiday of love. But there’s another reason that hearts should be on your mind right now. Each February we celebrate American Heart Month – a perfect time to refocus on staying heart-healthy and giving this important organ the attention it deserves.
Your heart is one of the hardest working and – at the same time – most vulnerable muscles in your body. Maintaining good heart health and ensuring that your heart has what it needs to keep ticking properly can help you add years to your life. Unfortunately, according to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women, with one in four people dying of it each year.
This February, heart health is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a greater spotlight on our health and wellness, and heart disease can put you at higher risk for complications from COVID-19.
That’s why it’s so critical to pay attention to your heart and give it the love it needs. There are a number of things you can do to make a difference and improve your heart health, including eating healthy, getting regular exercise, understanding the warning signs of heart attacks, having a working knowledge of your family medical history, getting proper sleep, knowing your cholesterol, blood pressure and other important numbers, and eliminating stress.
And what better time to begin – or recommit – to getting heart-healthy than American Heart Month. UP Health System’s 28 Days of Heart is here all month long to give you exercise tips, healthy recipes, key facts about your heart, and other ideas to help you get started.
If you would like to speak to a provider about your heart health, UP Health System can help. Call 844.411.UPHS (8747) or visit the Find a Doctor tab at mgh.org or bellhospital.org to schedule an appointment. In the event of a heart-related emergency, call 9-1-1. Minutes matter, and acting quickly may save a life, including your own.