Mia Concepcion | Staff Writer

courtesy of Creative Commons

The month of February officially kickstarts the 57th national celebration of American Heart Month (AHA). It is a time where Americans unite to fight the leading cause of death in both men and women (heart disease) by spreading awareness with helpful preventative measures.

The American Heart Association has planned free digital experiences for each week in February that will feature medical doctors and a roundtable for black women discussing heart health. 

Starting on February 1, the AHA partnered with award-winning journalist Tamryn Hall, Star Jones, Nancy Brown and Svati Shah for a panel discussion sharing women’s personal victories combating heart disease. This panel coincided with their initiative launched in 2004, “Go Red for Women.” “Go Red for Women” was designed to help others fight the paralyzing effects of heart disease. Its motto is an acronym that encapsulates its mission:

G: Get your numbers.

O: Own your lifestyle.

R: Realize your risk.

E: Educate your family

D: Don’t be silent. 

Another initiative that was inspired by women’s debacles with heart disease is “Research Goes Red.” “Research Goes Red” was created in hopes of expanding research on women’s struggles with America’s leading cause of death. Participation from women is highly encouraged.

The AHA has also issued some national holidays this month to make this celebration even better than the last. On February 7, National Wear Red Day took place. National Wear Red Day is a holiday in which men and women across the coast will wear red to stand in unison with others against heart disease and strokes. February 7 to February 14 will be Congenital Heart Defect Week. To conclude the month, the International Stroke Conference will be taking place from February 18-21. 

Now is the time to involve everyone in this initiative to spread awareness on heart disease and how it can be defeated together. Local members from the city of Atlantic City have decided to share a few ways they’re taking back their health this month.

Dr. Paul Larty, a trained doctor at Volgograd Medical Institute, says that exercise is a core component of maintaining heart health. He claims that the heart weakens when one’s body mass index is too high.

59-year-old Atlantic City native, Sheila Concepcion has been extremely cautious in maintaining her health. 

“This month, I’ve committed to working out six days a week. I started taking back my health during the pandemic and I’m currently in the best shape of my life,” said Concepcion.

The repercussions of the pandemic have increased sedentary lifestyles, resulting in unwanted weight gain. Doctors even report that COVID-19 exacerbates pre-existing heart conditions of those surviving the virus. Now is not the time to procrastinate on cardiovascular health. Take charge of it today!


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