We are constantly reminded of the importance of taking care of ourselves in addition to those around us. We know about the importance of healthy diet, exercise and weight management, but often loose site of how much ignoring these factors can affect our hearts.
As the co-chairs of the 2011 Go Red For Women event in Memphis, we ask you accept the Go Red challenge. It's a call to make positive changes in your life and learn how we change the fact that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women in America.
One in every three women will die from heart disease in the United States, nearly one every minute. That is over 500,000 lives that could have been saved with a few heart healthy changes in their lifestyle daily. Here are a few tips to add to your daily regimen to decrease your risk for heart disease:
* Increase or begin a physical exercise regimen. Aim at getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly. That is 30 to 45 minutes daily 4 to 5 days a week.
* About 145 million Americans are overweight. Obesity is one of the most preventable risk factors for the development of heart disease. Watch your diet and weight, work with your doctor to determine a heart healthy weight and develop a plan to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
* If you are a smoker, STOP! Smoking cigarettes is the single most preventable means to stop the development of heart disease in women. If you are a smoker you increase your risk by two to four times that of a non-smoker to develop heart disease.
* Learn to read food labels and avoid “bad” fats like saturated, hydrogenated and trans fats, which can damage your heart. Chose foods made with “good” fats like poly and mono-unsaturated fats that actually offer heart-healthy benefits. Monitor the salt in your diet, in addition to fats, as sodium can also increase your risk.
* See your healthcare provider annually and have a physical with cholesterol and blood pressure screenings. Nearly half of all adults with high blood pressure are women. High blood pressure often has no symptoms, so talk with your health care professional about your risk and get regular screenings.
* Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease in women as well. Women with diabetes are at two to four times the risk for heart disease than those without. Have your blood sugar checked regularly and manage your diabetes per your doctor’s instructions.
* Finally, know your family history. If your family has strong history of heart disease, whether it was a male or female member of the family tree, you as a woman are at higher risk to develop heart disease in your lifetime. Educate and empower yourself. Go to heart.org/MyLifeCheck and find out your lifetime risk for heart disease and make a positive change today.
Small steps can make a huge difference in your life as a healthy, vibrant woman and will directly impact your daughters, sisters, mothers, friends and co-workers enthusiasm to take care of themselves as well. With this in mind we are proud to host this year’s 8th annual Go Red For Women Memphis Campaign.
On May 10th, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., the American Heart Association will host “Passionate For One Heart,” an event focused on women and good heart health, prevention of heart disease and education to the community. Come ready to learn, socialize, and enjoy a delicious heart healthy meal while participating in a silent auction and vendor extravaganza. The event will be hosted at the Hilton Ballroom on I-240 and Poplar and tickets are $100 each. For further information, contact Dianna Dawson, at the American Heart Association by calling 901-383-5417. We look forward to seeing you there.
Tina Dickinson-Jones and Valerie Morris
Co-Chairs, Go Red For Women 2011
nationally sponsored by