The first Friday in February has been designated National Wear Red Day to raise awareness about heart disease in women. Over a decade ago, research showed that heart disease was the leading cause of death in women and was deemed the silent killer because symptoms often go unnoticed.
There are ways you can take steps to reduce your risk for heart disease, take control of your life and your heart health!
- Be Active: Get off the couch and get moving. Individuals who get little to no physical activity are at a much higher risk for heart disease. Get up and moving daily to increase your physical activity, simply cleaning your house or doing yard work can lower your risk.
- Healthy Plate = Healthy Heart: Choose foods low in fat and cholesterol and increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. Blueberries are a great source of antioxidants which help reduce risk! Your cholesterol levels are also a risk factor, simply improving your diet will help reduce those numbers which in turn will lower your risk.
- Quit Smoking: CVS recently pulled the plug on selling tobacco, so now it’s your turn to stop smoking. Individuals who smoke have twice the risk of having a heart attack than non-smokers. If you need tips for how to quit, talk to your doctor or ask your corporate wellness staff where you can find resources to help you quit.
- Control Blood Pressure: As the most common risk factor, over fifty million people have hypertension. If your blood pressure is consistently 140/90 or higher you are considered hypertensive. Speak with your physician about how to manage your numbers.
- Manage your Stress: Find what techniques work for you, exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Make time to incorporate 30 minutes into your day to take your mind off your stressors. Individuals with poorly managed stress are at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Join the movement to help raise awareness. Talk to the women in your family to make positive changes in becoming healthier together.