Help us raise awareness about heart disease and heart attack
What is Go Red? It’s the American Heart Association’s awareness campaign about the number one killer of women: Heart Disease. The organization asks that everyone wears red on Friday, February 5 in order to help raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of heart disease, and the steps that you can take to reduce your risk.
We have compiled some heart-healthy tips from the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control. Go Red Day is a great time to take a look at yourself, and see what you can do to stay as healthy as you can!
Go Red with these Nine Heart-Healthy Tips
Tip #1 – See Your Doctor Annually
Annual checkups are so important to your health. It only takes a few minutes to make the appointment, but if you are like many of us, you procrastinate. Before you know it, another year has gone by. Use Go Red Day to pick up the phone and make that appointment. Your doctor can assess your risk of heart disease, order important blood tests (such as cholesterol screenings), and prescribe medications if you need them.
Tip #2 – Know the Warning Signs of Heart Attack
If you are having a heart attack, every minute is precious, and you want to get emergency services as soon as possible. Read the American Heart Association’s Heart Attack Symptoms in Women so you know what to look for. If at any time you have symptoms of a heart attack, do not hesitate. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
Tip #3 – Stay in Shape (It can be fun!)
We all know that exercise is important. If you are out of shape, make sure you talk with your doctor about a safe way to start getting in shape. If you are already fit, great work! Keep up your fitness by targeting 3 to 5 hours of exercise each week. Remember, exercise can be fun! Make it a social event with friends. Try a Zumba class at the gym. Take walks to relieve stress. Do some strength-training to tone your muscles. There’s no doubt about it—exercising makes you feel good about yourself!
Tip # 4 – Avoid or Reduce Stress
Everyone has stress in their lives. With the fast pace of the 21st century, there doesn’t seem to be any way around it. But stress can have negative effects on your health, so it’s important to find a way to manage it. Exercise is one effective way of relieving stress that also gets you in shape. Other possibilities might be reading a book, meeting a friend for coffee, going to the mall, taking the dog for a walk, or just finding some “you” time.
Tip # 5 – Avoid Smoking
If you are not a smoker, that is wonderful news for your heart and lungs. Please keep it that way, and do what you can to avoid second-hand smoke too. If you are a smoker, don’t give up hope. Quitting is within your grasp! Talk to your doctor first. Doctors can help you start on a smoking cessation program that could work for you. There are also resources online to help you quit smoking. The American Lung Association’s Stop Smoking website is a great place to start! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!
Tip # 6 – Watch Your Alcohol Intake
The good news is that a limited amount of alcohol seems to be okay. The standard recommendation is to limit yourself to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. But drinking more heavily than this is not good for your heart. It can raise your blood pressure and put you at higher risk for heart disease or heart attack, as well as other conditions like obesity and diabetes. If you are a heavy drinker, talk to your doctor about trying to cut back. It is not safe to try this on your own, because there can be dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Work with your doctor on a safe way to reduce your consumption.
Tip # 7 – Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a hundred times! Eat your fruits and vegetables! Fruits and vegetables and other high-fiber foods are important in a heart-healthy diet. Try to limit foods with high levels of saturated fats and cholesterol, as well as food that are high in sodium/salt. Check out the American Heart Association’s advice on their Healthy Eating website. Make healthy eating fun by trying out new recipes and ingredients. Cooking heart-healthy foods is a great hobby that can teach you a lot about nutrition, health, and wellness.
Tip # 8 – Strive for a Healthy BMI (Body Mass Index)
Obesity has become one of the major health issues in the U.S. Being overweight can lead to a number of health problems including increasing your risk of heart disease or heart attack. The American Heart Association provides a Body Mass Index calculator for free. It tells you if your BMI is within a healthy range. Check your BMI today. If you find you are overweight, talk to your doctor about safe ways to lose weight.
Tip # 9 – Take Your Medications as Directed
There are medications, such as blood pressure medicines and cholesterol-lowering medications that your doctor may prescribe in order to reduce your risk of heart disease and heart attack. If your doctor does prescribe these medications, or any other medications for your health, be sure to take them as directed.
In honor of Go Red Day, we hope these tips have helped to raise your awareness of steps you can take toward a healthy heart. We hope to see you wearing red on February 5!
These heart-healthy tips are provided by Branford Hall Career Institute. Branford Hall features career-focused training programs at our many locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. If you are interested in exploring a new career such as Professional Medical Assistant, Culinary Arts, Massage Therapy, or Computer Networking Management, fill out our simple online form. We can’t wait to hear from you!