Almost 30 years ago, when I began teaching aerobics, I promoted my new class in February with the phrase, “You may love your Valentine, but do you love your heart? That muscle works all day for you, so you had better do your part!” According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Yet the organization estimates that only 55 percent of women understand this.
And even with that awareness, fewer women are doing anything to change this statistic.
February is Heart Month. We may celebrate Valentine’s Day with jewelry, candlelit dinners, cards, stuffed animals and even chocolates. Perhaps we could truly celebrate love by improving or saving lives, through raising awareness and taking action against heart disease.
“But,” you argue, “that doesn’t sound as romantic or fun as jewelry or chocolates.” Yet, it can be fun.
Read on.Every year, the Olympic Medical Center promotes a variety of activities during February to celebrate “Heart Month.” Judy Tordini, RN, director of cardiac services for OMC, sent me this list of activities:
Two activities I wish to highlight in this month’s column are the Heart Healthy Dance and National Wear Red Day.
The Heart Healthy Dance is a fun and romantic way to get some physical activity while benefiting the Cardiac Services Department at Olympic Medical Center. Park View Villas and Port Angeles Senior Center host this fifth-annual event from 7-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Vern Burton Center in P.A.
Music is by “The Music Machine,” featuring Bob and Cookie Kalfur. Tickets, $10, are at Park View Villas or the Port Angeles Senior Center. Hors d’oeuvres, wine and punch will be served and door prizes awarded.
John LeClerc, executive director of Park View Villas, told me that people of all ages enjoy dancing at this event. The music most likely will be light rock. Find out more by contacting Park View Villas at 452-7222.
Everyone can participate in the National Wear Red Day. On Friday, Feb. 4, you are encouraged to “Go Red for Women” The American Heart Association invites you to wear red that day at work, or wherever you may go. Tell five friends that heart disease is the No 1 killer and you want them to live. Invite them to visit www.goredforwomen.org/index.
Tordini will post pictures of your red group. E-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all know that physical activity is one of the most important preventive measures in fighting heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends 2.5 hours of moderate activity per week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous activity per week, minimum.
If you are unsure about what types of activities to choose from, the association’s website has simple guidelines to get you started. As always, check with your doctor, especially if you have heart disease, before beginning any program. If you don’t feel you can even do 10 minutes of activity per week, meet with a doctor, then a fitness professional to see how you can build up your activity so you can lengthen your life and improve its quality.
Happy Valentine’s Day and happy Heart Month.
Kristin LaMoure is certified as a personal fitness trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine. She owns and operates Sequim Gym. Contact her at email@example.com.