Harvard Heart Letter

Heart Beat: Look alive - it's Monday!

Heart Beat

Look alive "" it's Monday!

Many people use January, and specifically January 1, as a time to take stock of their health and, if needed, make adjustments in diet, exercise, smoking, drinking, and other habits. It's a good strategy except for one thing "" the year-long gap between Januaries. The Healthy Monday campaign, spearheaded by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, aims to give people a weekly nudge to get back on track or encouragement to stay there.

The campaign is based on the idea that most of the diseases that affect Americans today are partly the result of the choices we make. Thinking about those choices once a week, and trying to do better, can have a big impact on health. The campaign planners are working with schools, businesses such as FreshDirect and Jenny Craig, and organizations such as the YMCA and American Heart Association to deliver weekly health reminders to their customers and members.

You can do it without advice from the outside. Instead of waiting for the "big days" "" January 1, your birthday, an anniversary "" follow the campaign's slogan and make Mondays the day all health breaks loose.

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