Today I'm wearing red for women! Are you?

Today I’m wearing red for women! Are you?

Did you know heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year? That’s approximately one woman every minute!

“Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action.” – American Heart Association

There are several misconceptions about heart disease in women, and they could be putting you at risk. The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health for this very reason.

This is why YOU should participate in National Wear Red Day today, Feb. 3!

National Wear Red Day is a day to wear red to show your support of women with cardiac disease. It is a day to raise awareness and to encourage others; to support the research of the American Heart Association and to encourage others to be more heart healthy.

YOU can decide to take action today to better your heart health.

In order to better take care of your heart health, there are five numbers that all women should know: total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

Another way to achieve better heart health is to simply be aware of the risk factors; the ones you can and cannot control. A few of the factors that can be managed include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, lack of physical activity, obesity or overweight and diabetes. However, there are a few factors that you cannot control. To list a few: age, gender, heredity (family health history), race and previous heart attack or stroke. If you want to learn more about your risk factors, the American Heart Association has created a risk factors quiz and has provided a source for learning more about warning signs of heart disease.

The third way the American Heart Association recommends for taking better care of your heart health, is to take action with Life’s Simple 7:

1) Manage Blood Pressure

2) Control Cholesterol

3) Reduce Blood Sugar

4) Get Active

5) Eat Better

6) Lose Weight

7) Stop Smoking

Taking action doesn’t stop with just educating yourself and bettering your own heart health. I want to challenge you to do more. To take action to help the women of your family, the women of this campus/community and the women of this nation reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease. Here’s how to do this:

  • Share photos. Take a selfie or a group photo of you and your friends wearing red, and then share it via social media with #GoRedWearRed. Then, to further show your support for National Heart Month, change your profile picture.
  • Donate. You can donate directly to Go Red For Women. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover more about cardiovascular health.
  • Join the conversation. Like/follow Go Red for Women on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to get daily inspiration, photos, quotes, heart disease news, healthy living tips and more. Once you follow them, like and share photos with your friends or be part of the conversation by sharing what Going Red means to you.

To me, going red means supporting my great grandma whose life has been dramatically affected by heart disease. My great grandma Toody is currently battling congestive heart failure. Today I am wearing red for her. By wearing red, I hope to raise awareness for the need for prevention, not just for the women in my own family, but to help save the lives of other women all around the world.

When my great grandma and I are together, you can usually find us engaging in a completive game of backgammon.

When my great grandma and I are together, you can usually find us engaging in a competitive game of backgammon.

Many families have been affected by heart disease, just as mine has. The American Heart Association shares stories of several amazing women who are taking a stand against heart disease.

What does going RED mean to you?

I hope that you will join me in wearing red today to show our support for women with cardiac disease and stroke!

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Erin Kloepping

Erin is a Communications major with an emphasis in Leadership and Advocacy who is graduating in 2019. She is from Brodhead, WI and her interests include videography and foreign mission trips.

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