Baptist Health Hardin offers heart health tips on National Wear Red Day

Baptist Health Hardin. February 03, 2023

Created to raise awareness about women’s heart health, National Wear Red Day is held annually on the first Friday in February, which is National Heart Month.

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY, (Feb. 1, 2023) – In observance of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) National Wear Red Day and Go Red for Women® campaigns, Baptist Health Hardin encourages the community to wear red on Friday, Feb. 3.

Created to raise awareness about women’s heart health, National Wear Red Day is held annually on the first Friday in February, which is National Heart Month.

According to the AHA, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States. One in three deaths among women each year are caused by heart disease and stroke, with one woman dying from these conditions every 80 seconds.

The good news is that everyone has the power to reduce their risk through education and action. According to the AHA, lifestyle changes can reduce the risk for heart disease by up to 80%. Here are some steps that anyone can take for a healthier heart:

Prioritize good nutrition. To help reduce the chances of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, a well-balanced diet of fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats is essential. Limit intake of high-sugar and high-calorie snacks and beverages, along with processed foods. Check nutrition labels and limit consumption of sodium and saturated fats. It can also be helpful to record your dietary intake through a food journal.

Get active. Regular physical activity can reduce your risk of heart disease and reduce the chance of developing risk factors that affect heart health, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. At least 30 minutes of daily exercise is ideal, but people with less active lifestyles or who have other health conditions should start slowly and work their way up to longer periods of exercise. All forms of exercise contribute to a healthier heart, from daily walks and jogs to swimming laps at the pool to aerobic dance. Before beginning any exercise regimen, talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best plan.

Know your numbers. To understand your heart health, it is essential to know your blood pressure, body mass index, fasting blood sugar and HDL cholesterol. Schedule regular visits with your healthcare provider to discuss your numbers and devise a plan to improve them.

Stop using tobacco products. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease or stroke by two to four times. Nicotine increases the heart rate and raises blood pressure, and carbon monoxide steals oxygen from the heart and vital organs.   Women who smoke have a 25 percent higher risk of developing heart disease as compared to men who smoke. Quitting can cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by half in one year, and risk will continue to decline the longer you abstain from tobacco products. Though quitting tobacco products can be extremely difficult, your healthcare provider can help by offering nicotine replacement therapy and symptom management.

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