I’m sure I’m not the first one to ponder this, but it’s awfully uncanny that Valentine’s Day falls in the same month as American Heart Month. Well played, people who determine our American holiday schedule, well played. Because remembering to shower our loved ones with hearts and flowers should also remind us to take care of them and ensure many Valentine’s Days to come. And while a visit to the doctor isn’t perhaps the most romantic way to spend your morning or afternoon, making sure you’re in good shape so that you’re around for your loved ones is in a way a VERY romantic gesture.
As I was doing research for this blog, one of the first statistics presented to me was that 1 in 3 deaths in America will be as a result of cardiovascular disease. That’s not just a statistic: that’s a reality check. That’s almost one million Americans who won’t be around to celebrate next year’s Valentine’s Day. This goes way beyond heart disease awareness ribbons and dry, statistical research.
The good news is that unlike some diseases that strike seemingly at random, cardiovascular disease is largely preventable. And by lowering your risk of this disease, you’ll lower your chances of many other diseases, and generally feel better too. Things like not smoking, eating more salads than pizza, getting outside or to the gym regularly, and going to the doctor for routine checkups can both prevent heart disease or catch it early and reverse it.
And so it’s more than just clever marketing, if you ask me, having these two important events in the same month. With advertising everywhere for Valentine’s Day it’s impossible to forget it, and once you associate the little heart lapel pins and window decals at the grocery store with Heart Disease Awareness Month too, you can do your part to take care of yourself and your loved ones in ways that go beyond flowers and chocolates. Take care of the important hearts in your life now and ensure they’re around to celebrate many Valentine’s Days to come.