President Obama continued his focus on improving the nation’s health this week by declaring February as American Heart Month and kick starting the annual awareness campaign against the nation’s No. 1 killer.

The tradition of American Heart Month began with President Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964.

“Affecting people of all races and ethnicities, cardiovascular disease is the single leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, responsible for one in three deaths in the United States each year,” said the proclamation issued on Monday. “Heart disease must be addressed with urgency.”

Obama said that while nearly half of all Americans have at least one major risk factor, many don’t know it and others are slow to act upon warning signs.

“Every person can take steps to reduce the risk factors associated with heart disease in themselves and in those they care about,” reads the proclamation. Such steps include “reducing alcohol intake, exercising regularly, maintaining a nutritious diet, living tobacco-free and staying aware of early warning signs.”

While declaring American Heart Month, Obama touted healthcare initiatives that his administration has backed, including the Affordable Care Act, Million Hearts and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign.

In the declaration, Obama also encouraged the nation to participate in National Wear Red Day on Friday to honor those who have died from heart disease, while raising awareness about the disease and the steps that can be taken to prevent it.

“During American Heart Month … let us renew our efforts to raise awareness of this disease and its consequences, and let us recommit to building a healthier, heartier future for all,” he concluded.

Obama’s previous annual proclamations: