Today is the first day of American Heart Month, a chance to save lives by raising awareness of heart disease, the #1 killer of both men and women in the US.

At workplaces across the nation, many people will wear red today and take pledges. Others will be using their Fitbits to compete in monthlong “steps” challenges. On Sunday, some will be sure to serve heart-healthy snacks during the big football game.

But guess what?

At the end of 2019, when the numbers are in, it’s likely that heart disease STILL will be the #1 killer of men and women in the US.

Yes, it’s almost certain that more than 600,000 Americans will once again die from heart disease. And the saddest fact of all is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least 200,000 of these deaths (more than 500 a day!) could be easily prevented through SIMPLEST of lifestyle changes like more physical activity, less salt and quitting cigarettes.

What a tragic waste of precious life!

For American Heart Month, we are going to do what we always do—give you expert advice to empower your life. But we’re cranking up the volume. Every Friday this month, The Advocator will focus on little-known facts about heart disease to hopefully inspire you and your loved ones to make some changes. You’ll hear about the myths surrounding prevention and get insider reports on the latest drug and therapy research.

Don’t expect us to mimic the everyday heart-health information you’re likely see in the media. Expect to be challenged, shocked and even angered by the inherent problems in the health-care system that only worsen your odds.

Our goal is to save your life if you are among the 92 million Americans who already suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease and are moving ever closer to becoming a Heart-Month statistic. But let’s face it, red ribbons and Fitbits won’t prevent a single death. It’s up to YOU to change your lifestyle, and we’re here to help!