February marks the start of American Heart Month, and for us at Her Nexx Chapter, it signals the beginning of a new collaboration with the American Heart Association. We couldn’t be more excited to share about this new relationship with an organization that has had such a powerful influence and impact on heart and lung health and wellness for more than 90 years.
As the American Heart Association prepares to roll out their red carpet for cardiovascular health, we are thrilled to link arms with Go Red For Women and join in their efforts…and have some fun while we’re at it. This year, AHA and Go Red For Women are inviting you to Reclaim Your Rhythm, acknowledging that this last year has caused a lot of us to lose step with our wellness plans. National Wear Red Day is on Friday, February 4, and Her Nexx Chapter is going RED for women’s heart health! We would love for you to join us and Go Red For Women.
This signature initiative which began in 2004 is about more than wearing red on the first Friday in February. It’s about women everywhere joining to take charge of their own heart health. Making commitments to behavioral heart-healthy changes absolutely must be a priority. Yet we recognize that not all women are aware of the symptoms of heart disease and stroke, known as the silent killer. To further educate and dispel a few myths, read on:
Myth #1: I thought breast cancer was the #1 cause of death in women.
While breast cancer does take the lives of 1 out of 31 American women, heart disease is the #1 killer of women, causing nearly 1 in 3 deaths a year. That’s almost one a minute, and that’s way too many mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and children being taken from their loved ones.
Myth #2: I’m too young to get heart disease, plus I’m really fit.
Cardiovascular disease can affect women at any age. If you’re a smoker using birth control pills, your risk is elevated by 20%. High cholesterol and your eating habits can also impact your heart health so AHA recommends women have cholesterol screenings starting at age 20, or earlier, if you have a family history of heart disease.
Related: The Drumbeat of Life: American Heart Association Month and Your Healthy Heart
Myth #3: I don’t have any chest pain or other symptoms of heart disease so I’m good.
Symptoms between men and women vary, and 64% of women who died suddenly of coronary heart disease experienced no symptoms. Contrary to how the media portrays heart attacks as extreme chest pain, below are the symptoms women may experience:
- shortness of breath
- back or jaw pain
- feeling light-headed or fainting
- pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen
- extreme fatigue
Commit to prioritize your heart health this February and share that decision with those you love. Invite them to join you as you make healthier choices for yourself. When you choose to decrease your stress, move more, pay attention to what’s on your plate and ask those you care about to do the same, you’re already making a difference in women’s heart health and happiness. Be sure to include #WearRedDay when you invite your friends, family and loved ones to join you! What better way to celebrate this American Heart Month?
The American Heart Association and Her Nexx Chapter, Inc. are collaborators in strategic initiatives to advance health equity and ensure All Americans have an opportunity for a full, healthy life.
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