Join Sister Source in acknowledging today, the first Friday in February, as Go Red for Women Day! It is on this day that we pause to remember that heart disease is still the number killer of women. And Sisters, we are twice as likely as white women to have heart disease. This fact ought to give you pause. Take a deep breath and keep reading—we can take charge of our health!
“Black women suffer rates of heart disease that are twice as high as those among white women. Some of the factors that contribute to this disparity include higher rates of overweight and obesity, higher rates of elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure and limited awareness of our elevated risks. In addition to having high heart disease rates, Black women die from heart disease more often than all other Americans.” Black Women’s Health Imperative
First, take a look below at some of the facts about heart disease among women of color.
Second, take a look at some of the things you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease. I know the list is probably not new to some of you and many things on the list are ‘common sense.’ But we all know it is a long way from ‘common sense’ to actual changes in our behavior. I am working hard on exercising more and eating better. But getting more rest and managing my stress remain big time challenges for me. What’s standing in your way to better health?
- Don’t smoke but if you do smoke, get help and STOP smoking now
- Manage your blood sugar and always know your diabetes risk
- Keep your blood pressure under control
- Know your cholesterol numbers and get them down if they are too high
- Get clear on the history of heart disease in your family
- Move your body-exercise regularly
- Get rid of the extra pounds
- Eat healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables
Finally, never forget that YOU are important! I bet if I could ask each of you how often you put your needs ahead of someone else’s, you’d be hard pressed to tell me the truth. So the image below is a reminder that in order to get and stay healthier and lower your risk for heart disease, you have to take care of yourself!
On this Go Red for Women Day, wear your red with pride and commitment. A commitment to make sure that you reduce your risk for heart disease. You. Are. Worth. It!