Today is February 5thth and that means it’s National Wear Red Day. What does that mean? Wearing red is significant because it is not only the color of your heart, but it honors the women affected by heart disease and stroke.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute. (1) The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. According to their website, since the inception of this program 12 years ago:
- Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change
- More than one-third of women have lost weight
- More than 50% of women have increased their exercise
- 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets
- More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels (2)
- 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.
What happens when you have heart disease?
Heart disease affects the blood vessels and the cardiovascular system. Atherosclerosis, the condition that develops when plaque builds up in the arteries, narrows the arteries making it harder for blood to flow through. This can lead to serious problems including a heart attack or stroke.
How does physical activity help?
Physical activity reduces risk factors for heart disease by:
- Preventing and managing high blood pressure
- Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
- Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people and by 27 percent in highly active ones
- Establishes good heart-healthy habits in children and counters the conditions (obesity, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, poor lifestyle habits, etc.) that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life (3)
Being active also helps you to lose or maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress and boost your energy level and prevent bone loss.
So, how do I make the change?
First, we must tell you that you need to consult with your doctor and/or cardiologist before beginning an exercise program. Now let’s go over the nitty gritty details!
How much exercise do I need?
According to the physical activity guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity is recommended for the week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity.
Do I need to do all of that in one workout session?
You don’t have to get a large block of time in at once. If your schedule prevents setting aside 30 minutes per day in one shot, get 10 minutes in the morning, 10 at lunch and 10 in the evening. Breaking up your workouts can ensure you are fitting in the time- who doesn’t have 10 minutes?
What type of exercise do I need to do?
Also consider what type of exercise you do. Do something fun and different for you, as chances are you will stick to the program longer. You can include walking, dancing and bowling as part of your exercise for the day! You might want to consider working out with a friend. It’s a fun way to catch up and holds you accountable.
Today, February 5th, get out your red and wear it to show that you are going to make a change to a healthier you. If you haven’t started working towards your goals this 2016 then now is the time to start!
We are always here to help. Our 1-1 training program is developed for you- we make it with your goals in mind and we are pretty fun too. Contact us if you have any questions!
- “Facts about Women and Heart Disease”. Accessed 20, December 2015. Goredforwomen.org. https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/about-heart-disease-in-women/facts-about-heart-disease/
- “Behind National Wear Red Day”. Accessed 21, December 2015. Goredforwomen.org. https://www.goredforwomen.org/get-involved/national-wear-red-day/national-wear-red-day/
- “Physical Activity Improves Quality of Life”. Accessed 23, December 2015. Goredforwomen.org. https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/first-steps-to-prevent-heart-disease-and-be-heart-healthy/physical-activity-improves-quality-life/
- Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net