One of my most favorite colors is red! It’s bold, strong, stands out among other colors and is meaningful and memorable. Psychologically, red is commonly associated with passion and beauty. In marketing, red is correlated with excitement and used to draw attention or focus. As a bargain fashionista, I wear red whenever I can as a color pop (it’s a great accent color, too!). And as Mrs. Louisiana International, Go Red for Women is a platform and personal movement I urge you to join. In pondering what it means to #GoRed for my family, I created a list of things we do that you can, too.
Get your heart going!
For most, including my runner and Crescent City Classic poster child husband, working out is a craving, a desire and a passion. For me – not as much. Therefore, I have to get creative in how I am active and keep my heart healthy. Before taking action, you must first realize that it is important to exercise your heart. Here’s why:
- Heart disease is the #1 killer in women, more so than any other disease or cancer. It can be hidden, discreet, and is, unfortunately, quite popular. (Who decides this popularity contest, right?!)
- Heart disease kills one in three women each year. In the matter of a minute, it’s a life. The irony? It only takes minutes in your schedule to make time to get your heart going.
I like to dance when I clean the house. My hubby and I like to go dancing once a month. (In New Orleans there’s always a place to boogie!) When we shop or run errands, we park far away from the entrance so that we can walk farther distances to the door. We choose the stairs instead of the elevator and walk the escalator. We take walks in the park and walk our dogs around our neighborhood weekly, and we tend to minitrip or vacation where lots of walking is required. Our newest purchase: a jump rope. My husband is destined to out-jump me (though he can’t speed jump like I can!). Make a conscious choice daily to get your heart going.
Eat healthy = Be healthy.
Knowing what foods are nutritiously better for your body and heart and what snacks to choose over others makes the distinction in being heart healthy. For breakfast I love egg whites and blueberries! For dinner, my husband and I favor grilled chicken, spinach salad and blend whole grain items into the mix. A few of my favorite mid day and evening snacks include celery with hummus, fruits (blueberries, strawberries and bananas), baby carrots and almonds. For additional tips on meals and snacks, the American Heart Association has a great reference online. Being healthy starts on the inside. For your heart to be healthy you need to eat healthy, working inside-out.
Be altruistic – promote #GoRed to others.
One of the most inspiring things you can do is be an advocate for the cause. Pass along your personal tips to others on how you promote a heart healthy lifestyle. As a woman, wife, professor, daughter, sister and friend, it is my role to take action and have concern for the welfare of others. I know you fall into one or more of these categories, too!
One of the most motivating things you can do is post on social media sites (Facebook and Twitter, for example) what you think about heart health, what you’re doing about it and encourage others to join in. Social psychology suggests that if others see you participating in something it is more likely they will join you. (Trust me, it works!) Go walking with friends, share recipes, send friendly text reminders to each other, and promote the cause with others.
A few personal tips: when with friends or dining out, be the reminder to avoid the menu items that aren’t heart healthy, suggest substitutes that are, and celebrate longer life together. (Cheers!) And for all those amazing mothers: remember, it’s never too early to start your kids on a heart healthy path as they will follow your lead.
Make a Statement: Wear Red.
Heart disease is such a powerful feat. But with a mission, such as being an advocate for #GoRed, education on how we can beat the disease, and ways to personally conquer the likeliness of heart disease, we can make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. Cardiovascular disease is a killer, and we can take a stand – together. As a friendly reminder, wear red tomorrow, and attend your local Go Red for Women luncheon (mine is Friday, February 22nd).