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slides: RI’s Go Red Day 2013: 10 Ways Women Can Keep Their Hearts Healthy

Friday, February 01, 2013

 

On the first Friday of each February, The American Heart Association (AHA) urges Americans to wear red to raise awareness about women’s heart health. Each year, women from all walks of life heed the call, donning red outfits and accessories, or sporting the AHA’s Go Red for Women pin.

Yet after Go Red Day, many women (including those in Rhode Island) once again forget to take action for heart health. This dangerous lack of awareness is behind a new initiative--Healthy Monday--urging Rhode Islanders to go beyond Go Red Day today and sport something red every Monday.

Why Monday? Evidence suggests that the start of the week may be the most effective day to reach people with health messages. A nationwide survey conducted by FGI Research found that most of us see Monday as the day for a fresh start: it’s when we’re most likely to quit smoking, start a diet or begin an exercise regimen. What’s more, recent investigations found that Google searches for health information consistently jump at the beginning of the week.

According to the AHA, nearly half of American women do not know that heart disease is their No. 1 killer, and less than half know the best blood pressure and cholesterol levels for cardiovascular health. Making red visible on Mondays could help sound the alarm and keep heart health ever present in the lives of American women. Below are the first 10 tips for Healthy Monday, in honor of Going Red for Women. 

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Heart Tip 1

Quit Smoking

Really quit this time. Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease, so commit to Quit & Stay Quit every Monday.

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Heart Tip 2

Up Your Exercise

Boost the exercise you get each week -- form a Monday Mile club with your friends. Wear red accessories to signal your support for heart health.

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Heart Tip 3

Moderate Alcohol Consumption

If you drink, do so in moderation. Research suggests that the occasional glass of red wine can be beneficial to heart health.

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Heart Tip 4

Lose Some Weight

If you need to lose weight, even a 5-10% reduction can improve your overall health. Keep a food journal-- a red notebook!-- and check your progress every Monday.

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Heart Tip 5

Cut Out Fat

Cut the saturated fat in your diet, decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. Cut back by starting the week with a Meatless Monday.

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Heart Tip 6

Add Fiber

High-fiber diets can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, body weight, and a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. Get 25 grams per day -- fill up on apples, strawberries, tomatoes, whole grains, beans and nuts.

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Heart Tip 7

Limit Salt

Limiting sodium helps prevent high blood pressure. Check food labels, tie a red ribbon around your salt shaker so you think twice before using.

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Heart Tip 8

Lower Stress

Minimize stress as it can lead to health problems like high blood pressure. Come up with a plan at the start of each week to limit tense situations.

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Heart Tip 9

Stay Motivated

Remind yourself to take action each week by sticking a Go Red dress pin on your jacket, hat, handbag, or wherever you will see it most frequently.

Photo: GoRedForWomen.org

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Heart Tip 10

See Your Doc

Understanding your risk factors is one of the keys to preventing heart problems. If you haven’t been to the doctor in the past year, make an appointment this Monday. While you’re there, ask your doctor to support Go Red by wearing a red dress pin on his or her coat or lapel. And, pass these tips on to two friends.

Photo: GoRedforWomen.org

 
 

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