The Go Red for Women campaign is about taking action. And, 10 years ago, "Be proactive. Take care of your heart health. If you don't, no one else will do it for you," was the call issued to millions of women across the U.S. (www.goredforwomen.org)
Since the first National Wear Red Day was born in 2003, tremendous strides have been made to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women. They include:
- 21% fewer women dying from heart disease
- 23% more women aware that it's their No. 1 health threat
- Publishing gender specific results; established differences in symptoms and responses to medications
- Publishing women specific guidelines for prevention and treatment
- Legislation to help end gender disparities
Women who join Go Red are far more likely to make healthy choices. Dr. V.C. Smith, cardiovascular surgeon at St. Rose Dominican Hospitals echoes a holistic lifestyle change for a healthy heart. "Getting agitated, angry or hostile, on a routine basis can have a domino affect; it releases stress hormones in the blood which cause a temporary rise in heart rate and blood pressure."
"Practicing deep breathing, meditation or visualization may help reduce your response to stressors that raise your heart rate," Smith says.
Government labeling requirements have made it easier to track heart healthy foods and monitor coronary evils like: sodium, trans and saturated fats, sugars, and cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon, tuna, flaxseed, oatmeal and certain nuts lower blood pressure and reduce triglycerides.
"This is where Go Red for Women has been able to make a difference," Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association says. "We're the voice that keeps reminding women that you don't need to be a magician to transform yourself into a healthier person."(www.heart.org)
Red Foods For A Healthy Heart
- Red Wine: can reduce cardiovascular risk. Women should limit themselves to no more than 5 ounces a day.
- Red Peppers: are packed with heart healthy antioxidants.
- Red Apples: have heart healthy skins loaded with antioxidants. Studies show an association between a high intake of the white flesh and a significant reduction in stroke risk.
- Red Meat: don't dismiss beef, pork and lamb. By limiting portion sizes and selecting the leanest cuts, you can enjoy red meat as part of a heart healthy diet.
Know the Signs:
- Pain or discomfort in the center of the chest
- Pain or discomfort in arms, back neck or stomach
- Shortness of breath or feeling like you can't get enough air
- Nausea, vomiting
- Feeling faint or woozy
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling tired or weak
If you think you or someone else may be having a heart attack, don't wait more than five minutes to call 911.
"Living Well...one healthy step at a time"