Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of American women? Each year, it causes 1 in 3 deaths in women throughout our country.
This Friday, February 7, is the American Heart Association’s 10th Annual Go Red For Women “National Wear Red Day,” a day designed to raise awareness of the fight against heart disease in women.
Aside from wearing red on February 7 to increase awareness of what “go red” means, take the opportunity to educate yourself and learn how to reduce your own risk from heart disease and live more “heart healthy.” Here are some simple ways to get started.
Get educated about heart disease. This might sound like a no-brainer, but many people don’t know what heart disease really is, or think there’s nothing they can do to prevent heart disease. This is simply not true—according to the American Heart Association, “the real preventative power lies with real changes to your lifestyle – which can reduce the risk for heart disease by as much as 80 percent.” But, if you don’t even know what causes heart disease or what to change, your risk will never improve, so take the time to learn.
Learn what your own risk is. Complete the Go Red Heart Checkup to find out what your risk is.
Move more. Try to exercise a minimum of 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Of course, more is better and while you can aim to increase both the duration and intensity of your workouts, remember that even things like gardening, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking the dog all help. It’s also worth noting that your exercise doesn’t have to be done all at once. You can still get the same benefits by breaking your exercise routine into 10-minute sessions.
Eat a heart healthy diet. The AHA recommends eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry, fish, and nuts; and avoiding red meat, sugary and processed foods, and foods high in sodium.