When your mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke (the No. 1 and No. 4 leading causes of death in America, respectively), every week is a big week. That being said, however, there’s no week quite as big as this one.
Friday, Feb. 1 marks several important milestones locally and nationally for the American Heart Association:
It marks the 10th anniversary of Go Red For Women: The No. 1 health threat that women face is heart disease. Each minute in the United States, another woman becomes a victim of this terrible epidemic. All told, heart disease claims more lives each year than all forms of cancer combined.
The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement has been impacting the health of women for the past decade. Since the effort began, more than 627,000 women have been saved from heart disease. That means 330 fewer women are dying per day.
More than just raising awareness, Go Red For Women seeks to educate women about how they can beat heart disease. Lifestyle changes – such as quitting tobacco use, eating a healthy diet and getting more exercise – can reduce heart disease risks significantly, in some cases by as much as 80 percent.
It’s National Wear Red Day: In an effort to highlight the threat women face from heart disease, millions of Americans will be wearing red on Feb. 1. This day serves as the official kickoff for the Go Red For Women campaign each year.
It’s the beginning of The Red Couch Campaign: Here in Birmingham, we’re marking the 10th anniversary of Go Red For Women with a very special campaign, one that is exclusive to our area. Throughout the month of February, we will be fanning out into the community and personally delivering the message and mission of Go Red For Women by inviting women (and men) to have a seat on The Red Couch.
An idea conceived by two of our local volunteers (Bayer Properties’ Bethanne Jenkins and Luckie and Company’s Whitney Massey), The Red Couch concept is pretty simple: We’re showing up in 15 locations throughout the metro area with our distinctive Red Couch, encouraging women (and men) to join us and have a seat. We share with them the message of awareness and empowerment from Go Red For Women and we give them a chance to share their a story of how heart disease has affected them personally. We’ve got a Twitter feed (@FollowThatCouch) and a tour Web site. So, follow along and join us on the road!
It’s the first day of American Heart Month: Last, but by no means least, Feb. 1 marks the first day of American Heart Month. Regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or background, cardiovascular diseases are the primary health threat we face here in America. American Heart Month gives us an opportunity to raise awareness of the risks we face, as well as what we can do to fight back. Use February as a springboard to get serious about your heart health. Go to MyLifeCheck.org and fill out that quick, free heart health assessment. Do it for yourself and for those that love and depend on you.
So, join us for an exciting week…and an exciting month. We’ll see you on The Red Couch!