The past couple blogs have focused on programs that can be started in your department, topics including: healthy eating, employee wellness ideas, and community program proposals. However, I feel that it is also our duty, as parks and recreation professionals, to provide educational information to our community regarding topics on health and wellness.
If you weren’t already aware February is American Heart Month and according to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Sadly, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease, which can be caused by a stroke, stress, unhealthy eating habits, and high blood pressure.
So now the good news! Heart disease can be prevented when people start making healthier choices and managing their health conditions. During the month of February, we can help our communities, departments, and families to learn how to fight heart disease.
Here are some ideas:
· Encourage your department to share healthy recipes and exercise tips. Provide health information to the community in any updates or monthly newsletters.
· Use social media to your advantage, such as Facebook or Twitter. Send a tweet about American Heart Month, and follow American Heart Association on Twitter to receive daily news and updates: https://twitter.com/American_Heart
· Motivate your department to make physical activity a part of their work day. Introduce ideas such as a morning yoga session, walking during a break, or a run group after work. The objective is to create a common goal with your peers and coworkers!
· Reach out to local health professionals to create opportunities to inform your community on ways to prevent heart disease. You can even host a community event where families learn more about healthy eating and physical activity.
Remember, half the battle is getting the right information out to the community! I challenge all of you to take the lead and raise awareness for American Heart Month in support of healthier communities and healthier lives. For more information please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth/
If you have any ideas for promoting American Heart Month within your community and department, please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.ncrpa.net/?Wellnesssub)