Show your heart some love this February during American Heart Month

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February is a month of love with many already planning a special gift or box of chocolates for a Valentine’s Day date with their special someone. But Wake County is reminding residents it’s the perfect time to show some love to your own heart and take preventative action to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Today, the County is launching a series of events and initiatives in support of American Heart Month to increase awareness about heart health and highlight steps we can all take to live a healthy lifestyle.

“Cardiovascular disease is the number-one cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups across our country, resulting in one person dying every 33 seconds,” said Wake County Commissioner Don Mial. “It’s vital we know our risk factors when it comes to the disease, so that we can manage and monitor our health to protect ourselves and loved ones. The events and classes happening to celebrate American Heart Month can motivate participants to make heart-healthy choices a regular part of their self-care routine.”

Heart Healthy Events and Activities
Heart Health Month events provided by Wake County Health and Human Services Health Promotion Division include:

  • National Wear Red Day: Friday, Feb. 2
    Join millions of people across the country wearing red and bringing attention to heart disease in women.
  • Heart Health Exercise-a-thon: Friday, Feb. 23
    6–8 p.m., SE Raleigh YMCA, 1436 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh
    A heart pounding evening of exercise and fun. The event will include Zumba, boot camp, line dancing and belly dancing. All participants will receive healthy snacks, water and a variety of incentives/prizes. Space is limited, and participants (16+ years and older) must register.

Know Your Risks and Save a Life
It’s important to know the facts about heart disease. Health conditions, lifestyle, age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease. While you can’t change your age or family history, you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control:

  • Managing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • Preventing or managing diabetes
  • Avoiding tobacco use
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting regular physical activity

According to the American Heart Association, heart attack symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort, such as uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body like the arms, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath (with or without chest discomfort)
  • Cold sweats
  • Nausea or lightheadedness

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort, but women may experience other symptoms that are typically less associated with heart attack such as shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain.

For more information on Heart Health Month activities, visit

Press Release