Weekly Wellness: February is American Heart Month

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COLUMBIA - When most of us think about the month of February, we think of the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day (and we've started counting the days to Spring).

February is all of those things, as well as, American Heart Month. During this month, our Weekly Wellness segments will focus on heart health, heart disease and what we can do to help ourselves and our loved ones.

You may or may not know that cardiovascular disease (CVD)-including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure-is the number one killer of women and men in the United States. It is also a leading cause of disability, preventing millions of Americans from working a job or leading a regular life.

There are risks that we can't control. Knowing our family history can help us to understand some of our risk. Having a close relative who has heart disease can put us at a higher risk for CVD.

Race and ethnicity can also affect risk. Nearly 44 percent of African American men and 48 percent of African American women have some form of CVD. African Americans are also more likely than any other racial or ethnic group (about two in five) to have high blood pressure and to develop the condition earlier in life.

So what can we do about it? What habits can we change? What habits can we start? What can we control?

During the month of February, we will focus on lifestyle changes every week. Tiny goals to set to decrease our risks and increase our success.

Some of the lifestyle-related risks are:

  • Obesity
  • Diet
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco use
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes

Some of the items on this list are controllable by us. We can be in control. We have the power. So we shall focus on taking baby steps towards taking control of our heart health this month.

Every week, we will ask viewers to post a comment to the Weekly Wellness segment stating your goal or steps you have taken towards your own heart health and we will choose one winner each week. Winners will receive a free one-hour personal training session or health coaching session with KOMU Wellness Coach, Amanda Barnes.

We want you to have a wonderful February. KOMU <3's You.