Paint Currituck Red

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NHLBI THT LOGOFebruary 6th is the day we “Go Red for Women’s Heart Health”! Cooperative Extension in Currituck is challenging everyone to sport their red in support of women’s heart health on this day. More than that, help spread awareness about heart health and read on to learn some ways to keep yours healthy.

Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. There are several things women and men alike can do to lower the risks for heart disease.

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help you prevent or control many disease and conditions including heart disease. About ⅔ of adults in the United States are overweight. Being physically active, eating a healthy diet and controlling your portions are ways to help maintain or reach a healthy weight.

Inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop heart disease as those who are active. Be physically active at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week. This can also reduce your chances of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance. When too much cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries your risk for developing heart disease increases. Nearly 1 in every 2 women have high or borderline high cholesterol. Have your doctor test your cholesterol and get it under control with physical activity, diet changes or medication.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against the walls of arteries. High blood pressure increases your chance of heart disease and is dangerous because it often has no symptoms. Nearly 1 in 3 American women have high blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked. High blood pressure can be prevented or lowered by reducing your salt intake, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

Know the signs of stroke and heart attack. Stroke is not only the No. 4 cause of death in the United States, it’s also a leading cause of severe, long-term disability. That is why it is important to take action immediately. An easy way to check for symptoms of a stroke is to use the acronym F.A.S.T. – Face dropping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 9-1-1. Symptoms of a heart attack can often be brushed off as stress, flu or just feeling under the weather. As with men the most common symptom is uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, however women are more likely to experience breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. Look for shortness of breath, pain or discomfort in one or both arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Don’t forget to wear your red on Friday, February 6th 2015. Heart disease does not exclusively affect women so men wear red on this day as well to show your support for a healthy heart. Help spread awareness about heart health and show your support for the American Heart Association. For more information about heart disease visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/ .

Share your support on social media with #paintcurrituckred and send pictures displaying your support for women’s heart health with your friends, family or co-workers to olivia_jones@ncsu.edu for a special go red prize!