American Heart Month: What It Is & How You Can Join the Mission

Every February the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH) celebrates American Heart Month – a month designed to bring awareness to and advocate for heart health. For 2023, the NIH is asking us to practice self-care for our #OurHearts by understanding risk factors for heart disease and how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. In this blog, we are going to dive into this mission and share a few facts as well as show how you can participate this month.

Heart-Healthy Living

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. But, fortunately, you can do a lot to protect your heart and stay healthy, no matter your age. Living a heart-healthy life includes understanding your risk, learning how to make healthy choices and taking steps to reduce your risk of getting heart disease. Learn more here.

Ways to Get Involved With American Heart Month

There are many ways that you can join the mission to bring awareness to and advocate for heart health. 

Social Media

Whether your friends and family live near or far, social media is a great way to encourage those closest to you to live a heart healthy life. Fortunately, NIH has created a wide variety of pre-made social media graphics that you can share to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. These posts include facts, lifestyle tips and more. If you choose to share this mission to your channels, please be sure to use #OurHearts in your posts and to tag @TheHeartTruth. 

Virtual Events – Get #OurHearts Pumping!

Heart disease is something that will affect nearly all of us at some point, which is why NHLBI has scheduled an opportunity for us to come together, no matter where we live, for 25 minutes of virtual heart-pumping fun! During this event, NIH leaders and fitness instructors will showcase a variety of heart-healthy aerobic exercises and movements. The event will take place on Friday, February 3 at noon EST. All fitness levels are welcome to participate. Click here for more information.

Practice 7 Days of Self Care

Do you find it difficult to set aside time for yourself throughout the day? Many of us do! This is why NIH and the American Heart Association launched 7 Days of Self Care. You can participate in this at any time during American Heart Month, or whenever you want. Below we’ve outlined their recommendations for each day:

  • #MindfulMonday: Know your blood pressure and other key stats
  • #TastyTuesday: Try a tasty, heart-healthy recipe
  • #WellnessWednesday: Put your heart into your wellness routine
  • #TreatYourselfThursday: Treat yourself to something relaxing and fun
  • #FollowFriday: Share who inspires you to show your heart more love
  • #SelfieSunday: Post your favorite way to take care of your heart
  • #SelfcareSunday: Create your self-care checklist for the next week

Still looking for more ways to participate? Check out the 25 Ways to Take Part in Heart Month one-sheet.

Quick Tips for a Healthier Heart

We might sound like a broken record by now, but below are a few things you can add to your routine to better the health of your heart for years to come.

  • Get at least 2.5 hours of exercise each week
  • Eat food that is low in sodium and saturated fats (i.e. vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, etc.)
  • Limit sugars and other sweeteners
  • If you smoke – quit!

For more ways you can take care of your heart, click here.