Monday, December 11

Wearing Red: Raise Awareness About Heart Disease

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You can show your support by donning your favorite crimson dress, top, shorts, pants, skirt or even high heels by observing National Wear Red Day on February 4, 2011.

When someone comments on your cute outfit, tell them why you’re wearing red.

“Eighty percent of cardiac events in women may be prevented, if they make the right choices for their hearts, involving diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking,” said Dr. Jennifer Mieres, cardiologist and Go Red For Women spokesperson. “This is why it is so important that women talk to one another about their No. 1 killer.”

You can reduce your chances for heart disease by making conscious lifestyle choices today.

Exercise for Heart Health

Make exercise a part of your daily routine. Leading a sedentary lifestyle causes calcium, cholesterol and other fatty substances to cling to the walls of your arteries, which increases your chances for coronary heart disease, explains the American Heart Association.

Thirty minutes of brisk walking per day or aerobic exercise that makes you break a sweat will not only reduce your chances of a heart attack, but also reduce your blood pressure, risk factors for diabetes and lose a few pounds.

Stop Smoking

Smokers have an increased risk for heart disease. By making a serious effort to curb your smoking habit you are less likely to suffer from a heart attack, aortic aneurysm or stroke from blood clots.

Secondhand smoke affects the people you love. According to the American Heart Association 38,000 people die prematurely from blood vessel disease and heart disease each year by inhaling secondhand smoke. Smokers increase co-workers’ and family members’ risks of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent solely by exposure to secondhand smoke.

Dietary Choices

Heart health is also determined by your dietary choices. Choose foods low in fat, sodium, simple carbohydrates, caffeine and cholesterol.

Simple carbohydrates found in candy, desserts made with refined white sugar and soda offer little nutritional value and increase blood glucose levels. Instead choose complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice or bran cereal to keep your heart healthy.

Sources and Suggested Further Reading:

Go Red for Women: Make it Your Mission to Fight Heart Disease In Women

http://www.goredforwomen.org/

American Heart Association: Physical Activity, AHA Scientific Position

http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4563

American Heart Association: Why Quit Smoking

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/QuitSmoking/QuittingSmoking/Why-Quit-Smoking_UCM_307847_Article.jsp

American Heart Association: Choose a Healthy Lifestyle

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Diabetes/PreventionTreatmentofDiabetes/Choose-a-Healthy-Lifestyle_UCM_313880_Article.jsp

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