Go Red Day is a holiday that encourages people to wear red to raise awareness about heart disease in women. Heart disease is the number one killer of American women each year, but most people believe that it is mostly a disease that affects men. This is a day to change that narrative and inform women about the risks and warning signs associated with heart disease. Go Red Day has been inspiring women to make positive changes to their diets and lifestyle choices since 2002. As a result, nearly 300 fewer women are dying from heart disease each year!
Go Red Day, otherwise known as Wear Red Day, is meant to raise awareness of heart disease in women.
The American Heart Association
Go Red Day is part of American Heart Month, a month long national observance. The American Heart Association is responsible for the movement that inspired this special designation.
The American Heart Association was founded in 1924 by a group of cardiologists. The mission of AHA is "to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives." They kicked off the first National Heart Week in February of 1947 and American Heart Month began in 1963 via presidential proclamation. The mission of the AHA has evolved from a small group of cardiologists based in the United States, to an international effort spanning 80 countries. A complete history of the American Heart Association can be found at their website. The site also contains statistics, informative articles, and ideas for how to become involved.
Go Red Campaign
The Go Red campaign is specific to raising awareness of women's heart health and was first observed in 2002. The day emphasizes a commitment to raising awareness of risk factors and warning signs and symptoms of heart disease in women across the United States and the world. Risk factors would include family history of heart disease, lifestyle factors including diet and exercise, and tobacco and alcohol consumption. Go Red has a website specific to the cause.
Go Red is a clever acronym for the steps a woman should take to make herself and those around her more aware of personal risk factors related to heart disease in women.
G: Get your numbers. Know your blood pressure reading and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels increase a woman's risk for heart disease. O: Own your lifestyle. Evaluate your lifestyle and commit to eliminate habits that raise your risk of heart disease.
R: Realize your risk. Educate yourself on the statistics about women and heart disease. E: Educate your family. Encourage healthy habits of family members. D: Don't be silent. Spread the word to every woman you know.
The day is also a fundraising effort, encouraging individuals and groups to support the American Heart Association's research and education efforts by making a monetary donation. The funds are used to continue the research and education efforts of the AHA stateside and abroad.
A visible way to celebrate Go Red is by wearing an article of red clothing. If red isn't your color, take a moment to visit the Go Red website and expand your knowledge of cardiac health in women. Participate in a fundraising effort or start your own. Getting your numbers starts with a visit to the doctor. If you don't have a primary care physician or have not had an annual physical exam in over a year, make the call. If you live with heart disease or have had a heart attack, take to your social media account and share your story. Your story could inspire and inform others.
Use Go Red Day to raise awareness in yourself and others, donate your time or money to the cause. Or make it the day that you commit to lifestyle changes that will enhance your overall health. Do it for yourself and for those who love you.