Friday, February 5, is "Go Red For Women" day and the whole month of February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the #1 killer of both men and women in the U.S. and is a major cause of disability. In fact, an American will have a coronary event about every 25 seconds and about one will die every minute from one. There are steps everyone can take to help reduce their chance of becoming a heart disease statistic.
The American Heart Association has set a new goal to focus on improving health factors and lifestyle behaviors. The Heart Association has defined "ideal cardiovascular health" and identified seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors that support heart health. These measures are called "Life's Simple 7" and are a simple step-by-step approach that will help everyone live a long, productive, healthy life -- something everyone would like to do.
These seven health measures that determine cardiovascular health are:
- Never smoked or quit more than one year ago
- Body mass index less than 25
- Physical activity of at least 150 minutes (moderate intensity) or 75 minutes (vigorous intensity) each week
- Four to five of the key components of a healthy diet consistent with current American Heart Association guideline recommendations
- Total cholesterol of less than 200
- Blood pressure below 120/80
- Fasting blood sugar less than 100
Take a few minutes and honestly assess your heart health. If you have risk factors, your family will appreciate it if you would take steps to improve your health. You can learn about "Life's SImple 7" at www.heart.org/MyLifeCheck. The CDC also has very good information about how to prevent heart disease at www.cdc.gov/heartdisease.
Please remember to wear red on Friday, February 5, in support of heart health for women and help increase awareness of the importance of heart health for everyone. Visit www.GoRedForWomen.org for a Go Red Heart Checkup.