This February, focus on the heart all month long, rather than just on February 14. The American Heart Association has named February as National Heart Awareness month. With heart disease being the number one killer of women, find out how you can remain heart healthy without having to give up what you love in life.
February 3 marks the American Heart Association’s “Wear Red Day” – a day to build heart health awareness by wearing the color red and challenging everyone to Go Red for Women. Individuals across the country are asked to wear a splash of red to show their support for heart health. Since 2004, Go Red for Women has contributed nearly $44 million to women-focused research and has also provided funding to educational programs and tools for physicians. Several companies sponsor the Go Red for Women campaign by offering discounts and donations for the cause.
How can you stay health conscious this month? The benefits of physical activity far outweigh any negatives. According to the American Heart Association, exercising for just 30 minutes a day can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease. Additionally, physical activity helps to lower stress levels, which also has a positive impact on heart health. Take some time out of your day and think back to the endless hours of playing tag and riding bikes around the neighborhood when you were a child. This should remind you that physical activity doesn’t have to be a downer and truly can be fun.
Why not jump on the Zumba bandwagon? Zumba, a combination of Latin-inspired dance fitness and international music, inspires participants to have fun while exercising and dancing their way to health. However, the concept was born by pure accident. In the 1990s, fitness instructor Alberto “Beto” Perez realized he forgot music for his traditional aerobics class. He grabbed the music he had in his backpack – salsa and meringue – and created a new form of dance fitness. Zumba challenges participants to let the music move them, instead of focusing so much on the repetitions of the music. Today, Zumba is taught in 120,000 locations in over 125 countries.
Whether you’re dancing your way to heart health, or taking another approach, use the month of February to truly educate yourself on the importance of making health conscious decisions. Be sure to flip through your wardrobe and proudly wear red on February 3 to show your support for the Go Red for Women campaign.
For more information on heart health, click here.