National Wear Red day is a popular day celebrated in America on the 3rd of February. But it is a great international platform to show support and spread awareness about the fact that heart disease is the number one cause of mortality in women. On National Wear Red Day, we are using this opportunity to educate the Women in India to wear red to support heart health of women.
In 2003, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of almost 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying consideration to. Arising from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It is celebrated on the first Friday in February, annually to raise awareness about women’s heart health.
Some facts about women heart health in India:
- In India, women are more at risk of heart disease today than 3 three years ago
- The largest group of women at risk of a heart disease are aged between 35-44
- Heart disease risk is highest amongst housewives as it is amongst working professionals.
Many studies reveal that 3 in 5 Women in India are at high risk of cardiovascular disease as early as 35 years of age. With data showing such alarming results, it is important to take the necessary preventive measure and raise awareness.
Follow the listed measures to prevent heart diseases:
- Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked frequently
If you’re over 40, ask your physician about having a health check to evaluate your risk of developing heart disease. This would include checking your cholesterol level and blood pressure.
If your cholesterol level or blood pressure is higher than it should be, this augments your risk of heart disease. Your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes or, if deemed necessary, recommend medication to reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure.
- Stop smoking
You’re twice as likely to have a heart attack if you are a smoker. Studies show that more young women now smoke than young adult men. Stopping smoking will diminish your chances of dealing with heart disease.
- Exercise to prevent heart disease
Incorporate more exercise, including regular aerobic exercises such as swimming and walking. To truly protect your heart, you need to do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as fast walking or cycling, every week.
- Lose weight
About six in every 10 women in India are either overweight or obese in urban areas. Carrying excess weight puts an unfortunate strain on your heart, and you’re more likely to have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which also amplify the risk of heart disease.
- Drink moderately
Drinking a little alcohol often may be good for your heart, but make sure you stay within the recommended drinking limits. Drinking more will increase your risk of heart problems.
Too much alcohol, or binge-drinking, can injure the heart muscle leading to irregular heart rhythms or worse, heart failure.
- Balance your diet
Eat healthy and be particularly careful not to consume more salt than is recommended (which is no more than 6g a day) and to reduce the amount of saturated fat you eat. Include plenty of fruits and leafy greens in your daily diet.
- Manage your stress
Some researchers have suggested that stress can add to heart disease. If you feel you are under a lot of stress, it’s important to discover how to relax. There are some easy techniques you can learn to help you manage with stress, like meditation.
The most important takeaway to all this is that the first step to a healthy heart is for women to assess their current heart condition and hence the immediate need is to go for a heart check-up. Lets encourage our women to take up more heart healthy measures for a better living!