Make it Your Mission to Fight Heart Disease

Make it Your Mission to Fight Heart Disease

Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, taking the life of 1 in 3 women each year.

Singulars: Make it Your Mission to Fight Heart Disease

Women just like you and the ones you love – mothers, sisters, friends – are dying at the rate of one per minute because they don’t know that heart disease is their biggest health threat.

The American Heart Association’s (AHA) Go Red for Women movement, beneficiary of the SingularCity Valentine’s event on February 13, works to make sure women are aware that they are at risk so they can take action to live longer, stronger, healthier lives.

Go Red calls on all women to make it your mission to fight heart disease by keeping yourself informed and knowing your risks, taking steps to protect your health and sharing what you know about heart disease with your family and friends.

There are important things you need to know about heart disease:

  • It is the No. 1 killer of women age 20 and over, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • More women die of heart disease than the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer.
  • 1 in 3 American women die of heart disease, compared to 1 in 30 women that die of breast cancer.
  • Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.

However, it isn’t all bad news. According to the American Heart Association, 80 percent of cardiac events may be prevented if you make the right choices for your heart, involving diet, physical activity and abstinence from smoking. Even simple, small changes can make a big difference.

The American Heart Association recommends seven simple steps – known as Life’s Simple 7 — to help improve your heart health. These seven simple measures have one unique thing in common: any person can make these changes, the steps are not expensive to take and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference.

Life’s Simple 7

Get Active

Regular physical activity has many proven benefits including lowering blood pressure and reducing feelings of stress. Making small choices throughout the day like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or choosing the furthest parking spot will get you on the right track to heart healthy living.

Control Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important part of a healthy body but too much cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for coronary heart disease and for stroke. To keep your cholesterol under control: schedule a screening, eat foods low in cholesterol and saturated fat and free of trans fat, maintain a healthy weight, and stay physically active.

Eat Better

The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily from each of the basic food groups. To get the nutrients you need, choose foods like vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and fat-free or low-fat dairy products most often.

Manage Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the single most significant risk factor for heart disease. These changes may help reduce your blood pressure: eating a heart-healthy diet, which includes reducing salt intake; enjoying regular physical activity; maintaining a healthy weight; managing stress; limiting alcohol; and, avoiding tobacco smoke.

Lose Weight

If you are overweight or obese, you can reduce your risk for heart disease by successfully losing weight and keeping it off. Balance healthy eating (caloric energy) with the (molecular) energy that leaves your body through a healthy level of physical activity.

Reduce Blood Sugar

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke as adults without diabetes. It is critical for people with diabetes to have regular check-ups. Work closely with your healthcare provider to manage your diabetes and control any other risk factors.

Stop Smoking

Smoking is the most important preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Quit-smoking programs are available through hospitals, and many states have hotlines with trained staff to help you.

Visit heart.org/MyLifeCheck to access a health assessment tool that will give you an overall health score and create an action plan to move you closer to your individual health goals.

Go Red BetterU

Women today are busy juggling responsibilities between home and work and often do not have the time to think about their health.

The Go Red BetterU Program is a useful tool for busy women who want to get started on their health journey. It offers a free 12-week online nutrition and fitness program that provides guidance to help transform your overall health from the inside out. You’ll learn smart strategies and gain new information on improving and maintaining your health, along with the encouragement and advice of experts.

Each week will focus on a different area to follow for a complete heart makeover. You’ll have access to everything from daily expert tips and an online journal to a downloadable coaching tool. Learn more about Go Red BetterU at GoRedForWomen.org/BetterU.

You can also make a difference in the fight against heart disease through other ways:

  • Participate in National Wear Red Day: Show your support by wearing red on Friday, Feb. 4, to bring attention to heart disease.
  • Tell 5: Tell five women you care about that they have the power to save their lives. Encourage them to join Go Red for Women with you.
  • Volunteer: Contact your local American Heart Association to see how you can get involved with Go Red for Women.
  • Give: Your donation will help fund lifesaving research and educational programs that are needed to save more lives from the No. 1 killer of women.

For more information about Go Red For Women, sponsored nationally by Macy’s and Merck and in Los Angeles by Huntington Hospital, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org.

Love Your Heart: Go Red for Women’s Tips for Daily Living

Look for 10-30 minute breaks each day to implement heart healthy activities such as walking or other types of enjoyable physical activity

Plan quick and simple healthy meals

Know your family heart health history

Tips for Women at Work:

  • Add extra walks to and from the water cooler.
  • Take 10-minute walks between meetings.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Bring healthy snacks.
  • Take time for lunch and eat at regular intervals versus skipping meals.
  • Make time for physical activity — go to the gym and bring your favorite book or office materials to read or workout at home watching your favorite show.

Tips for Traveling for Work/Play:

  • Plan a physical activity routine.
  • Airports and malls are great places to get in a brisk walk around the terminal or from one end of the mall to the other.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Take time to stretch while on the flight.
  • Exercise in your hotel room – simple stretches or other exercise like sit-ups and pushups.
  • Take advantage of physical fitness facilities located in the hotel.
  • Pack heart-healthy snacks, fruits, and know how to manage your snack triggers.
  • Pack sneakers and comfortable clothes for working out.
  • For frequent travel, keep an extra pair of tennis shoes already packed in your bag.

Love Your Heart: Relaxation Tips:

  • Keep a journal.
  • Reduce stress: Plan a technology-free weekend balanced with active sports, swimming, skiing, horse-back riding, or other fun physical activity.
  • Celebrate your successes with healthy rewards like a massage or facial.
  • Read a book.
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