Published by Roseman University of Health Sciences

February 1st marked the beginning of American Heart Month. The 28-Day celebration and public campaign seeks to raise awareness about and provide strategies for preventing heart disease while encouraging people to live heart healthy lives. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States and the disease accounts for 1 in 4 deaths annually1. Key risks factors include smoking, high Body Mass Index (BMI) ≥ 30, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and diabetes.

Despite these sobering statistics, 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes and there are simple changes that can be made to help reduce the risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests you can have a healthier heart by accepting their challenge of 28 Days to a Healthy Heart.

  1. Squat it out. Do 1 minute of squats.
  2. Make a heart healthy snack and watch your favorite movie.
  3. Try a friend’s favorite physical activity.
  4. Schedule your annual physical.
  5. Visit to take the first step in quitting smoking.
  6. Make today a salt-free day. Use herbs for flavor instead of salt.
  7. Park further away or get off the bus a stop early.
  8. Keep up the great work! Walk an extra 15 minutes today.
  9. Plan your menu for the week with heart healthy recipes.
  10. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity today.
  11. Calculate your body mass index (BMI).
  12. Share your favorite inspirational quote with The Heart Truth®.
  13. Give the elevator a day off and take the stairs.
  14. Protect your sweetheart’s heart: Plan a heart healthy date.
  15. Dance, Dance, Dance! Dance to your favorite song.
  16. Stress less. Practice mindful meditation for 10 minutes.
  17. Make a heart healthy meal.
  18. Add a stretch break to your calendar to increase your flexibility.
  19. Swap the sweets for a piece of fruit for dessert.
  20. Share a funny video or joke that makes you laugh.
  21. Head to bed with enough time to get a full 8 hours of sleep.
  22. Call three relatives and ask about your family health history.
  23. Ask a friend to join you in your favorite exercise.
  24. Take out a tape measure and find out the size of your waist.
  25. March in place for 3 minutes to get your heart going.
  26. Make half of your lunch and dinner plates vegetables.
  27. See how many push-ups you can do in one minute.
  28. Pay it forward and tell a friend about The Heart Truth.