DALLAS, TX---Heart disease affects millions of Americans, but its link to women is under appreciated.
That is one of the main reasons that the American Heart Association (AHA) created the Go Red for Women campaign in February.
According to the organization, there are a number of false assumptions about heart disease as it pertains to women's health, including that it's just a "man's problem" and "for older people." When in reality, heart disease strikes more women than men, and that women of all ages are susceptible due to smoking and diet.
That is why Highland Springs retirement community in North Dallas demonstrated its support for ten years of Going Red. More than eighty residents and employees wore the color on February 1st to highlight the cause.
Dr. Mary Norman, MD is the Vice President and Regional Medical Director at Highland Springs. The Southern Methodist University graduate applauds the AHA for its outreach in February. "Traditionally, heart disease is not associated with women, but the statistics tell a different story. Mainly due to lifestyle choices, heart disease claims the lives of one in three females," stated Dr. Norman.
"The good news is that there are simple wellness-related steps that will bolster heart health for people of all ages and genders," described Dr. Norman.
She suggests the following heart health advice:
• Know your numbers: Knowledge is power when it comes to your health statistics; they provide clues to your lifestyle choices and potential areas of improvement. An ideal blood pressure reading is 120/70, but levels up to 140/90 may be acceptable depending on your age and other medical conditions. Additionally, a total cholesterol number under 200 is acceptable, and an LDL number (the bad cholesterol) below 100 is ideal.
• Don't smoke!: Smoking is arguably the most preventable cause of premature death. When you stop smoking, you lower your blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol.
• Create an exercise regimen: It's not all about power lifting! A thirty minute walk, a Zumba class or laps in the swimming pool contribute to a non-sedentary lifestyle that improves cardio health. With a friend or a group of classmates, these fun activities enhance socialization.
• Good food is good fuel for your body: Another key lifestyle choice, eliminating saturated fats and processed foods contributes to lower blood pressure. Choose a healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
"Always talk with your health care provider to determine the proper wellness goals for you," noted Dr. Norman. "As we see in our health and wellness programs at Highland Springs, no two people have identical needs. It's always best to map out a personalized plan."
More information about the Go Red for Women campaign can be found at the AHA website, www.heart.org.
PHOTO CAPTION: Residents and employees of Highland Springs, the Erickson Living retirement community in North Dallas, "Go Red for Women" in February. The annual initiative by the American Heart Association in February seeks to raise awareness on the impact of heart disease in females. (Photo by Richard Manassa).
About Highland Springs: Highland Springs, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment. Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits. A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average. For more information, please visit www.ericksonliving.com.