Go Red for Women!

The American Heart Association is one of the non-profit's I am super passionate about! I have had the opportunity to volunteer and partner with them for several events around the Birmingham area. AHA does really awesome work and has made great strides bringing awareness to heart health and overall wellness. Today is AHA Go Red for Women, which is a campaign to bring awareness specifically to women's heart health. I sat down with Danya Segrest, Director of Development for the Birmingham Heart Ball, to learn more about this campaign and the work they are doing! 

What is the American Heart Association Go Red for Women day all about?

National Wear Red Day is the American Heart Association’s special day to bring attention to the number one killer of women – heart disease. This is the day we encourage everyone to wear red, show their support, know their cardiovascular risk, and take action to live longer, healthier lives.

Why is the focus on women?

Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds.  Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day and Donate to Go Red For Woman. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health. Here are some general stats about heart disease in women:

  • An estimated 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases.
  • 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
  • Women have a higher lifetime risk of stroke than men.
  • Fewer women than men survive their first heart attack.
  • The symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood – even by some physicians.
  • Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. Believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack in women. They are also symptoms that women often brush off as the flu, stress or simply feeling under the weather—which could put their lives in jeopardy.

Symptoms of a heart attack:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
  • Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
  • As with men, the most common heart attack symptom in women is chest pain or discomfort. But it’s important to note that women are more likely to experience the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

How has "going red" helped AHA spread awareness?

On National Wear Red Day, people start to see others wearing red, buildings going red, social media pages filled with red pictures and posts – it brings attention to a subject that isn’t commonly talked about – heart disease risk in women. 1 in 3 women are affected by heart disease, and yet 80% of all heart disease is preventable. Because it helps us educate more women to know their risk, learn their numbers, and to help build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease, National Wear Red Day has the ability to save lives. That’s why we ask people to wear red today so we can jumpstart a conversation about heart health.

Where can we learn more? 

For more information about Heart Disease and Stroke in women, visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/ or www.heart.org.  

National Walking Day

by Emilie Maynor

Spring is here and it's time to get moving! In fact, the American Heart Association has deemed today (April 1st)  National Walking Day. Let's celebrate together! Just 30 minutes of walking today is all it takes to participate. Break it up into 10 minute blocks or do it all at once - either way, just do it!

Research has shown that walking at least 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
- Maintain your body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance your mental well-being
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
— American Heart Association
Juststand.org

 

Why is walking such a big deal? The majority of us are experiencing physical stress from an overly stagnate lifestyle. JustStand.org indicated that the average American is sedentary for at least 21 hours a day and it’s wrecking our health.  The Mayo Clinic even indicated that excessive sitting is as harsh on the body as smoking a pack of cigarettes/day....WHOA. 

Since it's difficult for us to find time to squeeze in time for ourselves, here are my top 5 tips to add steps to your day. 

1. Listen to a podcast relevant to your career. Thinking of it as professional development may help you carve out that additional time for yourself.

2. Schedule it! Studies show when you schedule physical activity into your calendar, you are more likely to make it happen.  

3. Take the stairs. Simple as that. 

4. Take a lap around the office or the block while you're waiting for something - documents, a meeting, laundry, kids activities. 

5. Have a walking meeting! This is my personal favorite. It's the perfect way to get creative juices flowing. 

So, when will you get your 30 minutes in?

Use #EMLwalk to share your walking pics!

Much love friends,

Emilie