The global team behind the American Heart Association (AHA) works each day of the year to improve the health of people worldwide. As part of these efforts, the organization oversees a variety of events and initiatives focused on health- and/or fitness-related themes. At AHA, nearly every month is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness of the ways they can stay safe and healthy.
Here’s an overview of several AHA months and events:
February – American Heart Month
A federally designated event, American Heart Month has been observed every year since 1964. The goal of American Heart Month is to bring awareness to the issue of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. In recent years, American Heart Month has placed special focus on raising awareness of heart disease among women, even naming February 1 as National Wear Red Day.
March – Nutrition Month
Many of AHA’s themed months and events are focused on providing people with the tools and knowledge they need to lead healthier lives. During Nutrition Month, the organization offers tips and resources to help people make smart food choices that can benefit their heart and their health overall. Some of the resources highlighted during Nutrition Month include the AHA’s Healthy for Good initiative, which seeks to inspire healthy changes through good nutrition and exercise.
April – Move More Month
Like Nutrition Month in March, April’s Move More Month is part of the AHA’s mission to encourage people to improve their lives by striving for good health. According to the AHA, nearly half of all adults in the United States do not get enough physical activity to stay healthy. During Move More Month, the organization offers tips for exercise success and works to raise awareness of programs such as Kids Heart Challenge and the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, both of which are aimed at increasing physical activity among the nation’s youth.
May – American Stroke Month and High Blood Pressure Education Month
At the AHA, May is focused on preventing and raising awareness of strokes and educating the public about high blood pressure, one of the main stroke risk factors. In partnership with the American Stroke Association, the AHA has assembled several tips to achieve ideal health and avoid hypertension/stroke-related problems. Tips include eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and being physically active.
June – CPR and Summer Safety Month
In addition to helping people improve their health, the AHA serves as the nation’s global leader in providing CPR training and emergency cardiovascular care training. Throughout June, the organization highlights this work and raises awareness about the importance of knowing CPR. The AHA also takes time during the month to offer summer safety tips for people of all ages.
July – Quality Improvement and Summer Heart Health Month
While staying active in warm weather is important, it can also lead to heat-related illnesses that are often preventable. The AHA uses what is typically the hottest month of the year to help people avoid issues such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The Association’s leadership also uses the month of July to focus on its quality of care initiatives aimed at improving health care nationwide.
August – Heart Walk
Each August, over 1 million people in more than 300 cities across the country take part in the AHA Heart Walk, the organization’s largest fundraising event. Along with raising funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the Heart Walk gives people the opportunity to celebrate survivors of heart disease and stroke while literally taking steps to boost their own health.
September – World Heart Day and Other Awareness Events
September is a very busy month at the AHA. On September 29, the organization partners with the World Heart Federation in observing World Heart Day, which focuses on inspiring people around the globe to take control of their heart health. September is also devoted to raising awareness of peripheral artery disease, childhood obesity, atrial fibrillation, and cholesterol. All of these issues fit into the AHA’s broader goal of improving health worldwide.
October – World Stroke Day, World Thrombosis Day, and Diversity & Health Equity
October is another busy month at the AHA. One of the main events of the month is World Stroke Day, which is held on October 29. More than 7 million Americans are stroke survivors, and World Stroke Day aims to reduce this number in the future by helping people learn how to minimize their risk. The AHA also uses October to promote health equity and observe World Thrombosis Day, an annual event held on October 13.
November – Research and Eat Smart Month
Over the last seven decades, the AHA has spent over $4 billion on cardiovascular and stroke research. November is when the group highlights its past research while raising awareness of future research priorities. November is also Eat Smart Month, a time when the AHA educates the public about healthy eating habits. This education includes advice such as swapping traditional Thanksgiving fare for healthier options.
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