The month of February earns its reputation as the month of heart celebrations not only for Valentines Day, but for the important designation of American Heart Month. American Heart Month was established in 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson in order to bring awareness to the importance of cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Heart disease doesn’t discriminate based on gender, race, or age; it can affect anyone. Being proactive and informed about heart disease prevention is important and can be lifesaving. Our cardiology director at O’Neill Healthcare, Dr. Marcello Mellino, has provided valuable guidance on how to proactively care for your heart, offering insights on effective strategies to minimize risk factors and give your heart a head start to a healthy, longer life.

Maintaining a happy and long life is closely tied to heart health. Your family history significantly influences your heart health, and it’s crucial to consider your family’s cardiovascular and overall health profile when planning for your own well-being. While family history is uncontrollable, there are actionable steps to enhance heart health and longevity that should also be noted.

  • Never Smoke!: Smoking can detrimentally affect both lung and heart health. Quit smoking today.
  • Exercise Regularly: Maintaining a healthy heart is best achieved through regular exercise and a balanced diet. It is important to get up and get moving and to not remain sedimentary.
  • All in Moderation: Moderation is key when it comes to consuming high-fat and high-sodium foods. Foods high in saturated and trans fats should be limited to less than 10% of your daily calories. Alcohol should also be consumed in moderation as it can lead to increased heart rates when overconsumed.
  • Replace your Grains: Opting for whole grains over refined grains is a simple dietary switch that can contribute to improved heart health.
  • Fill up on Fiber: Incorporating fiber-rich sources into your diet not only enhances heart health but also promotes a longer-lasting feeling of fullness.
  • Know Your Numbers: It is important to regularly monitor your blood pressure and sugar levels to ensure they are not too high or low. A normal blood pressure will be around 120/80.

Although heart health is highlighted throughout the month of February, it is crucial to monitor and sustain heart health every day. Taking these factors into consideration for everyday routines can lead to an overall healthier heart and lifestyle.

For more information on Heart Health and how we work to prevent heart disease at O’Neill Healthcare, please contact us at 440-808-5500 or visit

FP employees dressed in red for American Heart Month
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