#OurHearts are Healthier Together

By Tonja Dodd
Holding red and pink hearts with winter gloves - Vitality

Our hearts are healthier together. Perhaps that’s all I need to say. 

As someone who has experienced a medical heart event first-hand and is a lifelong Buffalo Bills football fan, this year’s Heart Health Month campaign slogan rings especially true for me. We need each other. 

Not just Bills fans but many Americans witnessed a traumatic heart event together on Monday Night Football in 2023. Fortunately, the outcome has been positive. But it does remind us how our hearts are healthier together. Without the quick and brilliant response of the medical team on the field, at the hospital, and in between, Damar Hamlin may not be recovering as well as he is. 

And without the outpouring of emotional, heartfelt support for one another, Damar, heart patients, Bills fans and Americans may not have made it through the observance of that shocking event. Indeed, supporting one another has raised us up healthier together.  

Whether it’s you or someone close to you whose physical or emotional heart needs to be healed this February, there are actions you can take. And if you’re not seeking healing, know that everyone benefits from a heart-healthy lifestyle that promotes overall good health and longevity.  

Try these everyday tips for a healthier heart adapted from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) #OurHearts are Healthier together: 

Self-Care Sunday 

Find a moment of serenity every Sunday. Spend some quality time on yourself.  

Mindful Monday 

Be mindful of your health and take care of your mental health. If your mental health gets between you and your fabulous self, take action to show your heart some love. Reach out to family and friends for support, or talk to a qualified mental health provider. 

Tasty Tuesday 

Choose how you want to approach healthy eating. Start small by pepping up your meals with a fresh herb or spice. Get adventurous and prepare a new heart-healthy recipe. Or go big by trying a different way of eating, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan, which is scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and promote good health.  

Wellness Wednesday 

Don’t waffle on your wellness. Move more, eat a fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried, make a plan to quit smoking or vaping or learn the signs of a heart attack or stroke.  

Treat Yourself Thursday  

Treats can be healthy. Try making a dessert with fresh fruit and yogurt. Then stretch your imagination beyond food. Host a family dance party, take a few minutes to sit still and meditate, go for a long walk, or watch a funny show. Laughter is healthy. Whatever you do, find a way to spend some quality time on yourself.  

Follow Friday 

Follow inspiring people and pages on social media, or text a friend to help you stick to your wellness goals.  

Selfie Saturday 

Inspire others to take care of their own hearts. Talk about your wellness routine with loved ones or share a selfie on your social media platforms. Having social support and personal networks can make it easier to get regular physical activity, eat nutritious foods, reach a healthy weight, and quit smoking.  

Learn more about heart health and heart-healthy activities in your community, and see what others are doing for their heart health at or follow #OurHearts on social media. 

To raise awareness about heart disease, Vitality wore red on #NationalWearRedDay!

Tonja Dodd, MPH, is a Senior Health Strategy Analyst at Vitality Group where she translates clinical guidelines into risk-appropriate health promotion strategies to engage members in healthy behaviors. Her background is in public health with 25 years of experience designing, developing, and delivering health and wellness programs and products. Tonja finds her healthy place is being active outdoors and spending time with family, friends, and pets.

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