Heart Health MonthUnderstandably, as most people made a concerted effort to stay safe from COVID-19, some other important health concerns may have received less attention during the past two years.

As we mark American Heart Month, now is the perfect time to increase your focus on cardiovascular health. 

The Start Small, Live Big campaign from the Alliance for Million Hearts and the CDC Foundation encourages everyone to begin with small steps so you can live your full life. These include:

  • Scheduling medical appointments so you can talk with your doctor about your heart health.
  • Quitting Tobacco Use.  Quitting tobacco lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases, including heart disease & stroke, and can add years to your life. There are many resources available to help you quit smoking.  For more information, contact the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline at ashline.org or 1-888-55-66-222. 
  • Becoming more active. Start slowly with a few minutes of exercise every day and build from there.
  • Eating a healthy diet. Small changes in your eating habits can make a big difference in your heart health. Try making half of your plate fruits and veggies at each meal. And if you can’t buy fresh, remember that canned and frozen options count, too!

Nationally, one person dies from heart disease every 36 seconds. Each year, there are more than 50,000 hospitalizations and almost 10,000 deaths related to heart disease in Arizona. More than 30% of Arizonans report having hypertension (high blood pressure), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. Smoking, obesity, and diabetes also are risk factors.

Take advantage of American Heart Month to take your first small steps to better heart health.