February is all about the heart, and The American Heart Association wants to raise awareness about the # 1 killer of women (& men) in America. All this month through events like the Red on the Runway fashion show at Styleweek Northeast, Alex & Ani parties with a purpose, and the Go Red for women luncheon, the message of how to stay heart healthy is being spread.
On February 1st to help kick off a month of Heart Health awareness for The American Heart Association , (deemed Wear Red Day by the AHA) , several Alex & Ani stores held Parties With A Purpose. Stores flooded with women in red shopping for a purpose, while awareness was raised about heart health, and the risks for women. The Alex & Ani Best Friends Bangle created in conjunction with The American Heart Association through Alex & Ani Charity By Design, which donates a portion of proceeds from each bangle to the charity.
Having lost my father to heart disease when I was 13 years old, this effort is near and dear to me. I became involved with The American Heart Association last year, and before then had not realize that Heart Disease was the #1 killer of women. I was also shocked to meet a couple of survivors who completely went against my perception of what someone who might suffer a heart attack would look like. Both of them slim, fit, women in their mid-forties who eat right and exercise.
The most poignant quote that I heard from spokesperson Deb Kozial was when she asked her doctor if someone like her, in such good shape, could suffer a heart attack, then why bother doing all of the things she had been doing to stay healthy when it happened anyway? Her doctor replied that if she had not been in such good shape, the two of them would not be sitting there having that conversation, because her body would not have been strong enough to have survived.
The symptoms that women exhibit when experiencing a heart attack are different from what a men might experience, and are important to be aware of. Women may experience chest Pain, Pain in Arms, Neck or Jaw, stomach pain or discomfort, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, light-headedness or fatigue. I love this short by Elizabeth Banks that so perfectly captures the mom mentality when it comes to her life.
The Go Red campaign intends to spread the message that women, who are so often busy taking care of everybody else, need to take care of themselves first, and remind other women they love in their lives, mothers, sisters, and girlfriends, to do the same. For more heart healthy tips on prevention go to the American Heart Association website. After all, in the month of February it’s all about the heart.