Provided by American Heart Association
Time to check your closet and dresser drawers – Wear Red Day and American Heart Month are coming, and you’ll want to wear lots of red!
The first Friday in February is always Wear Red Day, a day the American Heart Association has designated to raise awareness about heart disease in women. Across the Capital Region, many buildings will be illuminated red, and staff at area companies will wear red and donate to the American Heart Association.
“A woman dies every 80 seconds of heart disease, but 80 percent of heart disease is preventable,” said Dr. Joy Lucas of Upstate Animal Medical Center, and co-chair of the 2018 Capital Region Go Red for Women campaign. “I want every woman to know what the symptoms of heart disease are, and what they can do to fight it.”
Lucas survived a dissecting aortic aneurysm. Hope Plavin of Health Management Associates is the other co-chair of the 2018 Go Red campaign, and a stroke survivor.
“Family history is key,” Plavin said. “I suffered my stroke when I was running. My mother died suddenly at the age of 60. If you know your risks, you know what you can do to fight them.”
The American Heart Association has many events planned during February, American Heart Month, to help raise awareness about heart disease and stroke.
Wear Red Day (February. 2 this year) kicks off American Heart Month. Nationwide, people wear red and donate to the American Heart Association to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in women – and the funds to fight heart disease and stroke. In the Capital Region, hundreds of people will wear red that day and donate $5 to the Heart Association. Everyone is encouraged to wear red, donate, and post pictures to social media with the hashtag #WearRedandGive.
Buildings will “glow” red to also raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases in women. On “Wear Red Day Eve, (February. 1)” at the Times Union Center, led by Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy, reps from local businesses will “flip the switch” to make the Capital Region glow red.
People have been knitting and crocheting little red hats and donating them to the American Heart Association. In February, the Heart Association will donate the hats to local hospitals to help raise awareness of congenital heart defects. One in 100 children is born with a congenital heart defect. CDPHP is the local sponsor of the Little Hats, Big Hearts project.
It’s one thing to hear that you should eat better and exercise, and you should learn the symptoms of heart disease. But hearing from people who live with those diseases can often make a bigger impact, and prompt people to take action. Ellis Medicine is again sponsoring the American Heart Association’s Red Couch Tour, inviting people to come and share their stories of living with heart disease or stroke. The Red Couch Tour will launch on Saturday, February 3, at 11am at Colonie Center, outside LL Bean.
There are some things in life you can’t change – like genetics or family history. But if you are aware of them, and change the things you can, you have a chance of living a longer, healthier life. Why not use American Heart Month as a chance to renew your commitment to your own health? See your doctor and know your numbers – blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, blood sugar – and make a plan to keep them in the healthy range. Add color to your plate – lots of fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein. And try to get 30 minutes of exercise per day!
For information about what your local American Heart Association is doing, visit www.heart.org/albanyny.