Wear Red to Support the Fight Against Heart Disease
Did You Know? Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year.
Women are dying of heart disease at the rate of one per minute, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A few lifestyle changes can dramatically decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
- Don’t smoke. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are 2-4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke can increase the risk of heart disease by 25-30% in nonsmokers, so quitting will not only benefit you, but those around you as well!
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, on most days of the week can have dramatic health effects.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help keep cholesterol at a manageable level. Further, limiting sodium and salt can help lower your blood pressure. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables!
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease. Calculate your body mass index (BMI) to determine whether or not your weight is in the healthy range. Click here for help calculating your BMI.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can cause high blood pressure, so drink in moderation.
A quick response can help improve the outcome if you do suffer a heart attack. Learn the signs of heart attack, so that you can seek treatment immediately. Like with men, chest pain or discomfort is women’s most common heart attack symptom. However, women are more likely than men to experience the following symptoms as well:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold seat, nausea or lightheadedness.
These healthy lifestyle choices can have a major positive impact on your own health, but how can you help others avoid heart disease? Spread the word and “Go Red!” Each year on the first Friday in February, hospitals, small businesses, large corporations, schools, individuals and even landmarks “Go Red” in order to help raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women. Show your support on Friday, February 3, Wear Redy Day, by wearing red.