Fellowship Square Advises Seniors to “Go Red” All Month Long
February is a significant month — people may think of Valentine’s Day or President’s Day as the “biggies” when it comes to this month’s holidays. However, February has also been designated as American Heart Month, and February 2 is “National Go Red Day” in honor of women’s cardiovascular disease awareness. Fellowship Square believes that while “going red” for a day to show support is a great idea, it’s crucial that seniors “go red” all throughout the year. This means a number of things beyond actually wearing the vibrant color, but understanding the risks of cardiovascular disease in women and, first and foremost, how to prevent it.
The American Heart Association (AHA) supports the Go Red For Women campaign to raise money towards this cause — for more research and “swifter action for women’s heart health” because heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year, according to the AHA. Unfortunately, genetics and family history does play a role in women’s risk of heart disease and stroke. Other uncontrollable factors include gender, race, previous stroke or heart attack and age. However, there are some risk factors that can be controlled and minimized or eliminated such as high-blood pressure, smoking, high-cholesterol, lack of regular activity, obesity and diabetes.
The AHA also suggests that women “know they numbers” to help their doctors determine their risk level. These numbers include total cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index. The organization also notes that risk of other heart conditions such as chest pain, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease can be minimized by knowing these numbers. With their doctors, women can make a plan to help get these numbers where they need to be to minimize their risk.
To better reduce the risk of these diseases, the AHA suggests starting by getting active and eating healthfully. Something as simple as a short 30-minute walk or physical exercise every day reduces the risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent! A heart-healthy diet rich in vegetables, lean meats and whole grains is also important.
Fellowship Square encourages seniors, and especially women, to take some time in February to think of their own hearts, too — and make sure they are being properly cared for — by making an appointment with their doctor to make sure their numbers are on track. A happy heart equates to a long and happy life!