Library Blog

February is National Heart Health Month

February is American Heart Month - picture of African American father and daughter doing push-ups and text When we take care of our hearts as part of our self care we set an example for others Share how your caring for your heart
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Did you know that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease?  In fact, it is at the top of the list worldwide as a cause of death, even when you consider the deaths from the pandemic as noted in an NPR news broadcast. Thankfully, there’s lots you can do to help improve your heart health.  

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has created a one-stop webpage devoted to Heart-Healthy Living. The page has a handy expandable list of important topics to help you with improving your health, such as: 

  • Understand Your Risks 
  • Get Your Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Checked 
  • Choose Heart-Healthy Foods 
  • Aim for a Healthy Weight 
  • Manage Stress 
  • Get Regular Physical Activity  
  • Quit Smoking  
  • Get Enough Good-Quality Sleep  

As you click the + sign to expand each topic, they provide a brief, easy-to-read explanation of the topic, links to more detailed information, plus charts and videos.  

Of course, the organization I think all of us think of when it comes to heart health is the American Heart Association.  And, yes, they definitely have lots of great information for living healthier life! Just check out there Healthy Living menu found on their home page: 

American Heart Association Healthy Living menu screenshot

I love their “Add Color” webpage. Not only does it provide easy tips on how to add more colorful foods (which adds more nutrients) to your meals, but they provide gardening information and tips for how to keep fruits and vegetables fresh. There are also useful charts to print. And, finally, there are recipes! In fact, all their topic pages under Healthy Living link to great articles in helping you accomplish the goal of a healthier lifestyle. There is also a great 21-day program to help you start working toward a healthier heart.  It is the Power21: Your 21-Day Wellness Kickstart. 

The library’s Health Resources webpage has lots of great resources to look at for heart health information.  One resource recommended for this is Medline Plus. This free website is provided by the National Library of Medicine, which is actually a part of the National Institutes of Health. They have a detailed resource page relevant to National Heart Health Month: “How to Prevent Heart Disease.” Here you will find lots of information and links medical information in both English and Spanish. 

Take a look also at HealthFinder. This government medical resource has a page devoted to Heart HealthHere you will find links to heart healthy lifestyle changes, information to know when going to the doctor, “Conversation Starters” to use, and helpful lists to use when grocery shopping:  

While we have been thinking a lot about the CDC this year during the pandemic, it’s also a great resource for heart health.  Check out the many useful printouts and articles on their American Heart Month for Patients webpage. There are also two quizzes to test your blood pressure knowledge: 

For library cardholders in Ohio, you can try Consumer Health CompleteThis resource locates information not only from news and magazines, but also books, and includes fact sheets, pamphlets and videos & animations. You can either browse for health information by using the Quick Find clicking the alphabet letters or you can use Find to type in a keyword search. 

Consumer Health Complete home page

In the Find search box, typing the words “Heart Health” finds over 21,000 results. Among the top results are: 

  • “Preserving Brain Health Through a Heart-Healthy Diet: Heart health and brain health are interconnected. Protecting one also helps protect the other.” (cover story). Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. Sep. 2020 Supplement, p1-4. 
  • AHC Media. “Nuts and Heart Health.” Integrative Medicine Alert. Oct. 2020, Vol. 23 Issue 10, p1-4. 
  • “Supplements for your heart–and your gut: Cardiovascular and fermented products.” Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine. Feb2020, Issue 448, p86-91. 
  • McKelvey, Amy. “How to Promote Heath Health Naturally.”  Natural Solutions. Feb. 2020, Issue 213, p24-26.  
  • Duvauchelle, Joshua. “Countdown to a Healthier Heart: Keep your eye on these four important heart-health numbers.” Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine. Feb. 2019, Issue 436, p73-79. 

Another great resource for PLYMC Library cardholders is Hoopla. This is the library’s streaming resource which provides eBooks, Audiobooks, Comics, Music, Movies & TV Shows to use on computers/laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Typing “Heart Health” in the search box finds over 20 items.  Among the results are: 

Of course, there’s lots more for health and fitness in Hoopla, just take a look at the New Year, New Body – with Online Resources blog. 

A final recommended online resource for our PLYMC library cardholders is the library’s OverDrive eBooks & Audiobooks Catalog. Trying the keyword search of “Heart Health” here finds over 60 ebooks & audiobooks to choose from. Among the latest are: 

While online resources are great, the library has lots of books available to check out by browsing the shelves in the 600s at: 

  • 613.2 for healthy diet and nutrition books 
  • 616.12 for books on heart diseases 
  • 641 is filled with cookbooks of all types, including heart healthy ones 

Searching the library’s BiblioCommons catalog, here are a just a few of the newest heart health-related titles from the past few years to choose from: 

With all that’s available through the internet and at the library, I hope these links and resources will help you on your goal to a healthier heart lifestyle this year. 

Sara Churchill

Sara Churchill is the Digital Services Specialist and Assistant Supervisor in the Information Services Department at Main Library. A major fan of technology devices and computer research resources at work, she enjoys helping everyone learn to use their devices and the library's many online resources.  She loves reading Science Fiction/Fantasy books, British cozy mysteries, True Crime and other true stories, plus a past reader of horror fiction by the likes of Stephen King and John Saul (among others).  Also, she’s a big fan of Sci-fi, action, horror, spaghetti westerns, and based-on-a-true story movies.  Her blogs are for adults and the entire family to enjoy reading and trying out the many online resources free for PLYMC library cardholders to use.