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Wear Red Day
Photo: Dmitry Lyamzin
As women we give from our hearts on a daily basis. We give to our husbands and kids; to our parents and siblings; to our church and kids’ school; and to our friends and coworkers. Giving from the heart is a wonderful thing. It’s what makes life worthwhile.

But we can’t continually give from our hearts unless our actual physical hearts are healthy. So ask yourself, am I “heart healthy”?

February 6, 2009 is National Wear Red Day. This day is part of a nationwide campaign to help spread a very important message: Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Surprised?  I was, too. The fact is that one in four women dies of heart disease. The sad truth is that we women aren’t doing enough to lower our risks.

Who is at risk for heart disease? According to the National Heart Institute, it’s women with these health factors. 1
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol in blood
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight
  • Being physically inactive
  • Having a family history of heart disease
  • Age (women 55 or older)
While some risk factors such as age and family history can’t be changed, the NHI is quick to add that every woman can actively lower her risk regardless of age, background, or health status. Here are some things they suggest that are doable for all of us.2
  • Don't smoke, and if you do, quit. Women who smoke are two to six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smoking women. Smoking also boosts the risk of stroke and cancer. 

  • Aim for a healthy weight. It's important for a long, vigorous life. Overweight and obesity cause many preventable deaths. 

  • Get moving. Make a commitment to be more physically active. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. 

  • Eat for heart health. Choose a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, and moderate in total fat. 

  • Know your numbers. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, triglycerides), and blood glucose. Work with your doctor to improve any numbers that are not normal.
National Wear Red Day is much more than a day to wear your favorite red dress or sweater. This day exists to make all of us aware of the fact that we can take charge of our health. And only we can. No one can make healthy choices for us. For more information on ways to lower your risk, go to:


Take the time to take care of you!

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/hearttruth/index.htm
2 Ibid

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