Here are 5 ways to reclaim your rhythm during American Heart Month

The American Heart Association urges people to create healthy habits
Heart Month 1

Photo contributed by the American Heart Association

DALLAS, Texas — Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, deaths from heart disease and stroke have risen significantly. More people have also reported lower physical and emotional wellness. In February 2022, the American Heart Association hopes to help you reclaim your rhythm and take back control of your mental and physical well-being.

The American Heart Association is devoted to a world of longer and healthier lives. It works with numerous organizations and is powered by millions of volunteers. The Dallas-based organization funds innovative research, advocates for the public’s health and shares many resources.

Over the past year, many people have developed unhealthy behaviors, such as skipping exercise, eating unhealthy foods, drinking more alcohol and using tobacco products. All of these unhealthy habits can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. People who experienced mild cases of Covid-19 may also have changes to their heart and brain health due to their run-in with the virus. The American Heart Association is encouraging everyone to build habits that work best for their life. The organization believes that losing just one loved one is one too many.

The American Heart Association recommends incorporating music into your daily routine. Music can help create healthy habits. The organization offers the following five ways to reclaim your rhythm:

Mellow out and reduce stress:

Stress leads to unhealthy habits, such as overeating, physical inactivity, smoking and risk factors for heart disease and stroke, like high blood pressure, and depression or anxiety. Managing stress means managing your health, so reclaim control of your schedule and build in time to invest in a healthier you.

Move to the music:

Creating a playlist will keep you moving and grooving. Staying active is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind healthy. Not only can it help you feel, think, sleep and live better, it also improves overall quality of life. Physical activity is linked to a lower risk of diseases, stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health and cognitive function and lower risk of depression. Step away from distractions and to-do lists to go for a walk or meditate. It is important to do what you need to re-charge. If you don’t take back your time, something else will.

Feed your soul, rock your recipes:

The meaning of “family” may have changed, but family meals are still important and make an impact. Regular meals at home with family can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and make the whole family feel connected. Try new heart-healthy recipes that can be made at home from the American Heart Association Heart-Check Recipe Certification Program.

Stay on beat with your blood pressure:

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes and controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke. It can contribute to worse outcomes for people who contract Covid-19. Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure. Of those, about 75% have yet to control it and many don’t even know they have it. The best way to know your blood pressure numbers is to have it measured at least once per year by a healthcare professional if your blood pressure is normal and you are at least 20 years of age. You can also regularly monitor it at home with a validated monitor and discuss the numbers with a doctor.

Keep the Beat! Learn Hands-Only CPR:

Each year, more than 350,000 EMS-assessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the United States. Approximately 70% of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes. When a person has a cardiac arrest, survival depends on immediately receiving CPR from someone nearby. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Help your community reclaim their rhythm by learning the two simple steps of Hands-Only CPR: Call 911, then press hard and fast in the center of the chest. You can visit heart.org/handsonlycpr to watch the Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it with the important people in your life. As part of a collaboration with Pandora, the American Heart Association will have a station takeover of their highest traffic channel, Cardio-Dance. There will be three Reclaim Your Rhythm modes featuring music curated by Pandora.

The modes include:

  1. Reclaim Your Rhythm: Surviving and Thriving, featuring the anthems of the 2022 Go Red for
    Women Real Women Class
  2. Reclaim: The Remix, featuring celebrated Black artists
  3. Reclaim Your Beat, featuring music you can dance to, groove to, and keep the beat for HandsOnly CPR

You can learn more at heart.org.

You can also follow the American Heart Association on Facebook and Twitter.