Go Red for Women

February is American Heart Month

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association's national movement to raise women's awareness of their risk for heart disease, their No. 1 killer, and to help them make the right choices to reduce those risks. The movement connects women with their own heart health and compels them to choose heart-healthy habits and support the cause. The movement asks women to make it their mission to fight against heart disease in women. Nationally, Go Red For Women is sponsored by Macy's and Merck & Co. Inc. In Wichita, the movement is sponsored locally by Wesley Medical Center.

When you make the decision to Go Red, you empower yourself and others to fight against heart disease. Research shows that women who Go Red are more likely to make healthy choices. Consider this:

 More than one-third have lost weight.

 Nearly 55% have increased their amount of exercise.

 Six out of ten have changed to more heart-healthy diets.

 More than 40 percent have had their cholesterol levels checked.

 One-third have talked with their doctors about developing heart- health plans.

Make it Your Mission:

More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. But 80% of cardiac events in women could be prevented if women made the right choices for their hearts. This includes diet, exercise and abstinence from smoking.

The American Heart Association encourages you to make it your mission to learn all you can about heart attacks and stroke so that you don't become a statistic! Go to www.GoRedForWomen.org to join the movement and receive a free red dress pin, monthly recipes, tips and the latest heart news. While there, we also encourage you to take the Go Red Heart CheckUp, enroll in the free Go Red BetterU program, share your story and donate to help save lives.

About Heart Attack:

Heart disease remains the #1 killer of all Americans. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to a part of the heart is blocked, usually by a blood clot. If this clot cuts off the blood flow completely, the part of the heart muscle supplied by that artery begins to die. Signs of a heart attack include the following:

 Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It 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.

 Breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

Please Note: As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms  particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

About Strokes and TIAs:

Stroke is the No. 4 cause of death in America. It's also a major cause of severe, long-term disability. Stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack) happen when a blood vessel feeding the brain gets clogged or bursts. The signs of a TIA are like a stroke, but usually last only a few minutes. If you have any of these signs, don't wait more than five minutes before calling for help:

 Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

 Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

 Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

 Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

 Sudden severe headache with no known cause.

Please Note: Not all of these warning signs occur in every stroke, so if you experience any one of these, call 9-1-1 to get help fast. Check the time so you'll know when the first symptoms appeared. It's very important to take immediate action. Research from the American Heart Association has shown that a clot-busting drug can reduce long- term disability for the most common type of stroke if given within three hours of the start of symptoms.

February is American Heart Month:

Since 1963, the President of the United States has proclaimed February to be American Heart Month as part of a national effort urging Americans to battle against all cardiovascular diseases. Right here in Wichita, the American Heart Association encourages the community to follow the example of our Go Red For Women sponsor, Wesley Medical Center, by Going Red in creative ways throughout the month. The following are a few ideas:

 Light your building red by covering your exterior lights with red gels.

 Hang banners or signage throughout your facility that shows your support of Go Red For Women and the American Heart Association.

 Display Go Red For Women decals, window-clings or posters in building windows.

 Ask your employees to show their individual support by wearing red on Friday, February 3.

For local support with Going Red during American Heart Month, please call the American Heart Association in Wichita at 316-265-4238.

About Life's Simple Seven:

No matter what day it is, it's never too late for all of us to make better choices for our overall health. The American Heart Association hopes that you'll choose American Heart Month as your time to start. Life's Simple Seven outlines seven easy steps that provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed:

 Get Active: We need at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise.

 Control Cholesterol: Our total cholesterol should be less than 200.

 Eat Better: We should choose a wide variety of nutritious foods daily from each of the basic food groups.

 Manage Blood Pressure: Our blood pressure should be less than 120/80.

 Lose Weight: Our Body Mass Index (BMI) should be less than 25.

 Reduce Blood Sugar: Our fasting glucose, or blood sugar, should be less than 100.

 Stop Smoking: Smoking increases your risk for cardiovascular diseases and a host of other chronic ailments and is a leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States each year.

To complete a free, easy and quick life-changing health assessment, log on to www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck. In a few short minutes, you'll learn your heart score and receive a plan to improve your heart health.

Go Red for Women

Go Red for Women

Download the complete 6-page guide as a .pdf, including the calendar of events, photos of the Sweethearts of the American Heart Association and details on the 2012 Heart Ball.

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