Heart Disease Awareness: It’s February 2nd, Wear Red

Today is February 2nd, and hopefully you are wearing RED to help promote awareness for heart disease in women.  The American Heart Association, an organization that funds research and educates the public on all things heart disease, is doing a special fundraising campaign today- #WearRedandGive. If you click here, you can donate.

I’m sure we all know someone who has/had heart disease. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of both men and women. One out of three women die of heart disease every year, or 1 woman every 80 seconds. That’s astonishing! This rate will only increase as we become more sedentary, eat more unhealthily and gain more weight.

The good news is that heart disease, in many cases, is preventable. A healthy diet; an exercise plan; a good sleep schedule; and an anti-stress routine all help. It’s never too late to start ANY of those things, and a good way to start is by 1) Committing to start and 2) Writing down a date you will start and 3) Planning everything ahead of that date so you are ready.  After you set a date to make any positive lifestyle change to promote health/prevent heart disease, ask yourself what you’ll need to be successful. Do you have a plan to start exercising and what does that look like? Do you need a trainer’s advice? There are plenty qualified ones out there. If you’re just starting an exercise plan, start small-  it’s the best way.  Are you going to quit smoking or cut back on drinking? Both cigarettes and alcohol are linked to heart disease. Do you have your shopping list ready to start eating better? What foods will you purge from your pantry before you “start” date.  Do you have a friend you can appoint as a motivational partner? Social support helps, especially on the days you feel like giving up.  What will you do for stress reduction? Yoga, meditation, ZENtones? 😉   Whatever you do, start planning. Create a spreadsheet, use an App or start a notebook in which you can jot down your plan and keep track.   I use a  notebook and write down my workout plan and diet daily. Sometimes I think I’m too obsessive about it, but it helps me keep track and relax.

Also, know your baseline numbers. What’s your weight? Are you overweight? Extra fat is associated with heart disease. Commit to losing the extra weight and getting fitter. Get a blood test and find out what your cholesterol and triglyceride levels are. Have someone reliable with a reliable cuff take your blood pressure.  The American Heart Association recently announced changed guidelines when it comes to blood pressure.  It used to be that 140 ( systolic pressure) and 90 ( diastolic pressure) was high blood pressure, or hypertensive. Now it’s 130 ( systolic) and 80 ( diastolic). The good news is that if yours is a little high, or borderline high, the first step to regulating it is lifestyle modification!

I’m wearing my red ZENBand today to help promote heart disease awareness, especially awareness for women. We are living in an age that is demanding equal rights and treatment of women. Don’t forget the basics, like our heart health, when it comes to putting women first.

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