February is American Heart Month, and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better time to ensure your heart health is right where it needs to be.

Each February, we celebrate American Heart Month to make the choice of adopting a healthier lifestyle to prevent heart disease. We now know that people with weakened cardiovascular systems are at higher risk of getting COVID-19, so if you haven’t made the switch to a healthier you, do it now! 

HEART CONDITIONS

There are various conditions that can cause issues for the heart, but some of the most common heart conditions include Coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart infections. A person with CAD may not even know they have the disease until after they’ve had a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. Some symptoms of CAD include chest pain or tightness, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, pain, numbness or weaknesses in legs or arms, pain in the neck, jaw, throat or upper abdomen. Symptoms of heart arrhythmia might include fluttering in the chest, racing heartbeat or slow heartbeat, chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting. Symptoms of heart disease might include pale gray or blue skin color or swelling in the legs or around eyes. 

RESOURCES

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has various resources that could help if you are unsure where to start. Research shows that starting with others or with a group of people is likely to hold an individual more accountable, so gather up a group of people and get started! There are links and PDF files you can download that tell how you can start making these lifestyle changes, such as the “7 Days of Self-Care” file and other fact sheets.  

You can help raise awareness for American Heart Month by sharing the facts on your social media sites or joining marathons for raising awareness for heart diseases. Make the choice for yourself today to make the appropriate lifestyle changes so that you don’t put yourself at risk for deadly illnesses. 

About the Author

Chelsea Woods has a Master’s degree in special education and is an Educational Diagnostician. Her passion is children, particularly children with special needs. Chelsea has been married to her husband Dylan for 6 years, and they have two girls, Kamdyn, five, and Emersyn, one. She enjoys time with her church family, working in their garden, and taking vacations and making memories as a family.