HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and 1 in 5 Americans will die from the disease?

February 1 marks the start of Healthy Heart Month, and local cardiologists say now is the time to learn what you can do to recognize the signs of heart disease.

Throughout the month of February, Crestwood Medical Center is encouraging Alabamians to improve their cardiovascular health through a 28-day Healthy Heart Challenge.

“The idea behind the 28-day challenge is to get people thinking small about everyday type of things they can do to improve their heart health with the goal of doing that year-round,” Crestwood Medical Center cardiologist Dr. William Schneider told News 19.

The Healthy Heart Challenge includes 28 days of daily challenges that come straight to your email inbox. You will also get informative articles and quick tips as well.

“If people develop that daily habit, it’s easier to keep the healthy behaviors going,” Schneider said.

Common symptoms of heart disease include chest pain, low energy levels, shortness of breath, and swelling in the legs. If you are experiencing these symptoms, cardiologists recommend you reach out to your doctor.

However, Schneider said heart disease can be managed and its effects mitigated with just a few actions. He said to check in with your primary care physician about managing your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood sugar. Dr. Schneider said cutting back on smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet, and exercising all promote cardiovascular health.

Sign up for the health heart challenge here.