American Heart Month: 7 Great Tips for a Healthy Heart

Last Updated on February 1, 2024

American Heart Month: Tips for a Healthy Heart from CareerStaff

Happy American Heart Month from CareerStaff! Every February, we’re proud to join in the month-long campaign to support awareness of cardiovascular health. And this year, we’re doing so with a rundown of some tips for a healthy heart that are especially useful for nurses and clinical workers — and which may include a few pointers you haven’t heard before.

What is American Heart Month, and Why Does It Matter?

Since 1964, the American Heart Association (AHA) and other organizations have promoted American Heart Month as an opportunity to help fight back against cardiovascular disease, by far the leading cause of death among women and men alike in the United States.

In the spirit of American Heart Month campaign, let’s explore a few ways that nurses and clinical workers can help promote cardiovascular health during American Heart Month.

7 Tips: Empower Patients and You on American Heart Month

Tip 1: Review Heart Health Best Practices

The CDC’s American Heart Month Toolkits are a great place to start, offering helpful summaries of basic steps that almost everyone can take to reduce their risk of heart disease. Specifically, they remind us all to “move more, eat healthier, stress less, work with their health care team, and quit smoking.”

By encouraging patients to engage with their care teams, the campaign is also giving healthcare providers the chance to promote these healthy living basics. And you don’t have to wait until your patients or residents bring it up, either. Especially for those who are especially at risk, like smokers or those with little understanding of nutrition, American Heart Month is a great time to offer up some basic tips for a healthy heart.

Tip 2: Get Social

American Heart Month is also a great time to spread the word on heart health — or to learn more about it yourself — on your favorite social networks. By monitoring the #HeartMonth or #OurHearts hashtags on social media, you can keep up on the conversation, and help make sure that this useful info is getting out to more people.

Other helpful sources are the CDC’s page on X for its Division for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention division, and the Million Hearts® LinkedIn profile and Twitter pages. And don’t forget to connect with CareerStaff on Facebook, LinkedIn, X and Instagram for more opportunities to post, share and discuss tips for a healthy heart and lots more!

Tip 3: Focus on Mental and Heart Health

Stress is commonly cited as a major heart risk. In addition to increasing anxiety and depression, it can act as a catalyst for unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive drinking or eating poorly. Yet stress is also so ingrained in our lives that it’s difficult to resolve without the help of mental health.

Self-care has become a popular way for nurses and clinical workers to deal with stress in a healthy way. From breathing exercises to setting smart milestones, the best self-care tips for a healthy heart don’t just help improve happiness and wellbeing, but they’re simple and can be done almost anywhere. And they can be easily passed on to patients, as well as family and friends, too!

> Don’t miss our 17 self-care tips for healthcare professionals

Tip 4: Spread the Word About Sleep

Recently, Life’s Essential 8, the AHA’s guideline for “improving and maintaining cardiovascular health,” added sleep to its list of ways to help lower risks associated with heart disease, stroke and other significant health conditions.

“Adequate sleep promotes healing, improves brain function and reduces the risk for chronic diseases,” the AHA points out. And according to the Mayo Clinic, people who “don’t get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.”

The recommended amount of sleep is seven to nine hours for adults and 10 to 16 for children. But that may be a tall order for some. After all, most of us would love to sleep more if we could, and patients are usually in the same boat. The Mayo Clinic offers some guidance here by recommending that patients set a sleep schedule and stick to it — and to get checked for sleep apnea if that doesn’t work, or in cases of excessive snoring or trouble breathing while asleep.

Tip 5: Double Check Your Oral Health

Many of the experts who offer tips for a healthy heart also urge people to pay closer attention to oral care. Healthline reports that oral hygiene doesn’t just help keep teeth white and strong, but can also help remove bacteria that may actually raise the risk of heart disease.

“Studies show a link between the bacteria that causes gum disease and increased risk of heart disease,” reports the Rasmussen University Health Sciences Blog. “Taking care of your teeth and keeping gum disease at bay also reduces the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation in the body can cause a buildup of substances in the blood that can worsen heart disease.”

Tip 6: Don’t Lose Heart

If you or your patients are feeling frustrated with a lack of success at making these lifestyle changes, don’t get discouraged! “Change is an important part of living with heart disease or trying to prevent it,” reports Harvard Medical School. “A jump in blood pressure or cholesterol earns you a lecture on healthy lifestyle changes. Heart attack and stroke survivors are often told to alter a lifetime of habits,”

“Little changes today can result in big benefits over time,” writes Rina Mauricio, MD, a doctor of Internal Medicine – Cardiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. “I frequently borrow an analogy from a mentor: Think of your health as a retirement account. If you consistently save a little bit over a long period time, it grows, and you reap the financial benefits later in life.”

#7: Grow Your Cardiac Care Expertise This American Heart Month

For nurses and clinicians who have the experience and training, what better way to support American Heart Month than with a new job in cardiac care? Going far past basic tips for a healthy heart, cardiovascular care provides an active opportunity to help people overcome their health challenges to live a happy, normal life.

If you’re interested in working a cardiac care, nursing, or healthcare job, we’ve got opportunities available across the United States! Discover the best possible opportunities to meet your career needs and schedule with CareerStaff. Explore all available healthcare jobs here, or get the ball rolling by filling out a quick application now! 

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