President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first proclamation by declaring February as American Heart Month in 1963.  This is now an annual event to urge Americans to fight against heart disease and stressing the importance of taking care of our hearts and considering our risk factors.

The leading cause of death for both men and women is heart disease.  Heart disease can happen at any age.  More younger people are suffering from this disease as higher rates of obesity and blood pressure are putting them at risk.

American Heart Month teaches ways to help reduce these risk factors.  The Center of Disease Control lists important risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high diabetic readings, obesity, and smoking.  Eating non-healthy foods and not enough exercise contribute to high cholesterol levels.

Heart disease is preventable in most cases with healthy choices.  Seven ways to help reduce your risks include: 1. Know Your Numbers and add regular doctor monitoring to your schedule.  2. Manage Your Weight by eating healthier meals by filling your plate half-way with fruits and vegetables.  3. Be Physically Active by participating in 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. 4. Manage Your Stress 5. Reduce Your Sodium Intake 6. Quit Tobacco 7. Limit Alcohol Consumption.

Visit to learn more about the risks and how to prevent heart disease and strokes.

February is the signature month for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign stressing that women experience heart disease. February 5, 2021 is National Wear Red Day.

If you are interested in learning more about healthy living, diabetic information, exercise programs and overall nutritional needs, please call the Izard County Extension office at 870.368.4323.  Elizabeth Daigle, Family and Consumer Science Agent, will be glad to assist you with researched based information to keep you on the road to great health.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.  If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact the Izard County Extension Office as soon as possible.  Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.”

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