National Wear Red Day highlights women’s heart health

Written by on February 4, 2022

National Wear Red Day highlights women’s heart health

By Megan Frank
February 4, 2022

Today is National Wear Red Day.

Organizers with the American Heart Association’s Lehigh Valley chapter say people are asked to wear red to help raise awareness for heart disease, which is the No. 1 killer of American women.

Listen to the story.

Dr. Amy Ahnert, cardiologist with Lehigh Valley Health Network, says the pandemic has caused more people to be stressed, which plays a role in cardiovascular health. 

“Mental health wellness has a significant impact, so it’s very important that when we’re looking at patients and talking about cardiovascular prevention, we need to also take into account psycho-social wellness,” said Ahnert, who co-chairs the Lehigh Valley and Berks Go Red for Women campaign.

The American Heart Association reports that many people have adopted unhealthy behaviors during the pandemic, like skipping exercise, eating unhealthy foods, drinking more alcohol and using tobacco.

“Now more than ever, people are extremely stressed,” said Ahnert. “Unfortunately, many of our day-to-day habits have become more unhealthy.”

That’s why she says it’s vital for people to reduce their stress levels.  She recommends carving out time to meditate or do yoga.

“It is not selfish to take care of yourself,” said Ahnert.  “You have to take care of yourself.  You have to prioritize your own heart health, or else you’re not going to be able to take care of others around you.”

Ahnert also says people should avoid processed foods, eat lots of vegetables, and do aerobic exercise at least five days a week for 30 minutes. 

She says even a brisk walk can be enough to get people back on track.

Throughout the day on Feb. 4, the American Heart Association’s Lehigh Valley chapter is encouraging people to use the hashtag #LVBerksGoRed and post photos wearing red.

Here’s a few more tips from the American Heart Association:

  • Dance to the music to move more
  • Find your zen to reduce stress
  • Feed your soul with healthy food
  • Stay on the beat by knowing your blood pressure numbers
  • Keep the beat by learning hands-only CPR

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