Many have just finished packing away their Christmas trees as clusters of red hearts start popping up in grocery stores. The next holiday season is already here! But this year, Valentine’s can be more than chocolate and cards. Let’s encourage women to embrace a new tradition to:
Claim the month of February for personal heart health and join the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.
Eighty percent of heart disease and stroke may be prevented by lifestyle changes and education, according to the American Heart Association. What if women nationwide were encouraged to turn more of their holiday energies toward giving their loved ones these gifts:
- Prioritizing personal health and well-being
- Alleviating stress
- Modeling a lifestyle of heart health
- Maturing as healthy, active older adults
1. MAKE A “GO RED” ACTION PLAN
The American Heart Association offers ideas for women this February that can galvanize a lifetime of better heart health:
- Make a well-woman appointment. Women should collect their family history before the appointment, and ask their doctors to check blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose.
- Learn the signs of a heart attack. Every second matters in a heart attack, and women are more likely than men to experience symptoms besides chest pain, including upper body pain/discomfort; shortness of breath; cold sweat; nausea; and lightheadedness. By calling 9-1-1 instead driving to the hospital, crucial medical care arrives sooner and significantly increases the chance for survival.
- Kickstart a healthy habit. Here are some ideas for women: Trade an unhealthy craving with a few deep breaths and a glass of lemon water. Instead of a TV show, take a brisk walk. Instead of the drive-thru, make a grocery run for a rotisserie chicken (remember to pull off skin), fresh oranges, and a tub of raw spinach.
2. LEARN MORE ABOUT HEART HEALTH RISKS AND PRIORITIES
Each woman can pinpoint the best starting point for her by getting a free health score and personal action plan at www.MyLifeCheck.org.
3. FIND STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
Women can join others to “Go Red” by participating in these events:
- Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 – Dallas Go Red for Women Luncheon
- Omni Dallas Hotel, www.heart.org/dallasgored
- Friday, Feb. 5, 2016 National Wear Red Day
- Donate to Go Red for Women
- Encourage others to do the same, using #GoRedWearRed on Twitter
- Schedule a well-woman visit
- Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016 Go Red Sunday
- Wear red at your place of worship, and ask others to join you
- Place an announcement in your church bulletin or newsletter about Go Red Sunday
- For more information about Go Red for Women, visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/.