A time to take heart…

…for two good reasons. Yesterday, Pennsylvania and Ohio, despite being ardent supporters of numerous hometown sports teams, pinned their hopes on groundhogs to be winners. Punxsutawney Phil (Pennsylvania) and Buckeye Chuck (Ohio) didn’t see their shadows so, legend has it, spring will be early this year. Actually, I think groundhogs have very low vision, but I’ll take what I can get. Most of the country has experienced an incredibly strange winter and the sooner it’s over, the better.

More importantly, February is American Heart Month. Anyone can be affected by heart disease, whether through genetics or lifestyle. To assess your risk, the American Heart Association offers a tool to measure your risk for heart disease, heart attack, or stroke. It can be used by anyone 20 years of age and older. The association recommends that by age 40, everyone should be aware of his or her risk for heart attack and be reassessed every five years.

NOTE: Do not to take this risk assessment if you already have a diagnosis of heart disease, diabetes (the site also has a Diabetes Health Assessment tool), peripheral artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, or carotid artery disease. Your physician can discuss your risk of heart attack with you.

You can’t change your genetics but you can change your lifestyle to improve your chances for a happy, healthy heart—the tools, treatments, and incentives are certainly out there.

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