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 2022, the NIH is asking us to join #OurHearts in Action, a mission to encourage and motivate everyone to adopt heart-healthy behaviors. 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.

#OurHearts in Action

According to NIH, research shows that having a support system and personal networks makes getting physical activity, eating healthier, reducing stress and quitting smoking much easier. This is why this year’s American Heart Month mission focuses on community and encouraging those in our community to commit to a healthier lifestyle. One way to encourage your friends and family is by leading by example. During American Heart Month, we recommend implementing self-care practices that are healthy for our body, mind and spirit, whether that be taking a weekly yoga class, getting 10K steps a day, FaceTiming an old friend or reading 10 pages of a book each day. 

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

The NIH recognizes that many of us still aren’t comfortable with large group gatherings, especially with people we don’t come in contact with very often. This is why they are hosting several virtual events throughout American Heart Month. Below are two events we recommend participating in!

Join the Nourish to Flourish: Healthy Cooking for #OurHearts 
Date: February 11, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. CST
Description: Healthy eating is a one way to take care of #OurHearts. Check out this heart-healthy cooking demo and mindful eating exercise.

Join the Stress Less: Healthy Relaxation for #OurHearts
Date: February 25, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. CST
Description: While we can’t always avoid stress, we can improve how we respond to it. In this virtual workshop, clinical psychologists Dr. Donze and Dr. Lewis will discuss stress and its relation to heart health while also demonstrating ways to reduce it.

28 Days Toward a Healthy Heart

The NIH has also made a calendar of things you can do throughout the month of February to improve your heart health. These items include trying new activities, getting a full eight hours or sleep and sharing the #OurHearts mission with a friend or family member.

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.