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This year I'm going red
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Sondra E. Z. Hines, AILT, is an adjunct professor of health & wellness and is certified to teach group fitness exercise and Zumba. Wednesday Wellness - Fitness News You Can Use is published weekly. Email: sondraezhines@yahoo.com.

I’m going red!

It’s not because my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, recently celebrated 100 years and our sorority colors are crimson and cream, although that’s a great reason to go red. Nor is it because I painted a room in my house red – but that’s another story.

I’m going red in celebration of Go Red for Women, a national initiative by the American Heart Association to raise awareness of heart disease in women. Now in its 10th year, Go Red will be officially held on Friday, February 1.

I personally know the pain from heart disease. My mother passed February 21, 1995 from a heart attack, an event that completely changed my life.

Her sudden death is what today propels my excitement each time I teach aerobics or dance, speak at conferences or workshop or encourage others to live healthy lives.

That’s what mom would have wanted.

And that’s what the American Heart Association desires for every American – particularly women, who continue to be hardest hit by heart disease, including women of color. Consider these facts, provided by Regina E. Fleenor, director of community & multicultural health at the American Heart Association’s mid-Atlantic affiliate in Charlotte:

  • Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women, and stroke disproportionately affects African Americans.
  • Diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, obesity and a family history of heart disease are all prevalent among African Americans.
  • African American women nearly twice as likely to suffer a stroke as compared with Caucasian women.
  • Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 20,000 African American women annually.
  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.
  • Only 1 in 5 African American women believes she is personally at risk.
  • Only 52 percent of African American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Only 36 percent of African American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

To honor my mother and celebrate the 10th anniversary of AHA’s quest to save others, I invite Qcitymetro readers to join me by participating in Go Red. Activities can include inserting AHA’s red dress image on your Facebook or Twitter page, or making a donation in honor of a loved one, to name a few.

For more information, visit http://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/.

Whatever you do, wear your red with style. I will!

Until, next time, I wish you good health, joy and wellness!
Editors Note: For more health & fitness-related content, visit or health page at www.qcitymetro.com/health.

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October 5, 2015
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