The Heartosaurus Guide to Celebrating American Heart Month: for Heart Patients, Friends, and Relatives

 American Heart Month. What's the big deal, and what am I supposed to do?

American Heart Month is a month-long United States observance established by 36 U.S.C. § 101. The President is requested to issue each year a proclamation—

(1) designating February as American Heart Month;
(2) inviting the chief executive officers of the States, territories, and possessions of the United States to issue proclamations designating February as American Heart Month; 
and
(3) urging the people of the United States to recognize the nationwide problem of heart and blood vessel diseases and to support all essential programs required to solve the problem.      
Every year, heart disease takes the lives of over half a million Americans. It is the leading cause of death in the United States.  The disease affects everyone; mothers, fathers, daughters, grandparents, siblings, friends, and co-workers

February is American Heart Month, and February 1st, is National Wear Red Day. 

Okay. -- Support the push for increased awareness, examine our lifestyles to ensure they are heart healthy, and maybe donate to a heart charity? What else? 

The guide below contains action items that you may find a bit more interesting and amusing than the status quo.


The Heartosaurus Guide to Celebrating 
American Heart Month


Heart Patients:
  • Pick a few new goals this month. Make them lofty and exciting. Put them on paper and then tell people about them. By doing this you send the energy of potential out into the universe and you give the goals their initial momentum. The goals can be related to anything, but they need to be BIG. The excitement is that they will take a lot to attain, and you'll have to have your heart in it to get them done! Examples: Register for a Marathon, 5k, 10k, triathlon, climb the highest mountain in your state, make a patchwork quilt, change careers, start a blog, volunteer at the hospital, start a business, rekindle an old relationship, set a savings goal, join a gym, get a tattoo, buy a boat, learn a new language, go skydiving, take a trip, buy a motorcycle, write a book, lose weight. You get the idea. Pick the goals and make it happen!
  • You are part of the "zippered chest" club. Hit up the other heart patients you know on email, Facebook and twitter and let them know you're thinking of them.
  • Do a commemorative run or walk this month and be grateful your ticker is still working. This shouldn't be an organized event. It's about you hitting the road alone and having a quiet mind and moment of introspection. 
  • Reach out to any doctors that are significant to you and let them know you're thinking of them this month.
  • Arrange a stress test or CT scan with your cardiologist if you haven't had one recently.
  • Organize a special dinner with your heart cronies. 
  • Take a time out and reflect on your life from your date of open heart surgery until now. What's changed? Have you forgotten or become complacent about what was important at that time?
  • Buy a copy of Barefoot in November or another inspiring heart book and give it to a heart patient or relative of one.
  • Join your local heart association and get involved socially, speak at events, and volunteer.
  • Pick something simple, that you've always wanted to do but never had the guts to, and do it! Serenade your significant other publicly, dance like nobody's watching, if you're single ask someone out that you think is out of your league, stand in the back of a crowded elevator and bark, make vanilla pudding and put it in a mayo jar and eat it in public, run into a store and yell out "What year is it?" and when someone answers yell out "It worked!!" and run out cheering. You only live once right? Who knows better than a heart patient.
  • Buy a Heartosaurus T-shirt and represent the fighter in you!
  • Wear red on Feb. 1

Friends and Relatives:
  • Make a small donation to a heart charity. Even $1 can help.
  • Run a race, go to a dance, or participate in some type of event in which proceeds go to a heart charity.
  • Call a friend affected by heart disease whether it's a heart patient, or someone who lost a loved one to the disease. Wish them a happy heart month. They'll be flattered.
  • Buy a copy of Barefoot in November or another inspiring heart book and give it to a heart patient or relative of one.
  • Enter a race, triathlon, or any other event in the honor of a heart patient, or one who has passed due to the disease. Announce it to everyone, get a shirt made, and run your heart out for them. There's nothing like running for a cause, or in honor of someone.
  • Buy a Heartosaurus T-shirt for you and your heart patient!
  • Plan a surprise lunch, dinner, night out for beers or a movie, or anything else you can think of for a heart patient. Work around their schedule or through their family to arrange the surprise and just show up at their door and say "happy heart month, glad to still have you with us, I'm taking you out".
  • Make an inspiring post on Facebook or your blog about your heart patient. "It's American heart month. I remember 7 years ago when (insert name) had open heart surgery. I remember seeing her in the hospital hooked up to the breathing machine...........(insert your story)..............................I'm so happy she is with us today. Happy heart month! (insert patient's name)" 
  • Light a prayer candle in the name of a heart patient.
  • Wear red on Feb. 1

Do you do anything fun, interesting, or unique during heart month? Tell us in the comments below!





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