Write-up by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com


When singer/songwriter Chris De Burgh sang “The lady in red is dancing with me, cheek to cheek …” and country music artist Lorrie Morgan sang, “I’m looking for something in red, Something that’s shocking to turn someone’s head ….”, it left little doubt that wearing the color red can elicit a response or make a bold statement. Tomorrow on “Wear Red” day, the American Heart Association is hoping the wearing of red will do both.


Friday, February 5, 2016 is “National Wear Red Day”, an annual effort to raise awareness about heart disease and striving for heart health. On its website, the AHA http://www.heart.org/ has a wealth of information about these topics. Although at this point in time basic heart healthy information is nothing new, it bears repeating.

  • Start with healthy eating such as lean chicken, fish, small amounts of lean red meat, whole grains, low fat dairy, skip the salt and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Look for a new heart healthy symbol giving the AHA approval to foods in grocery stores and some restaurants. As well, more self-empowerment is but a shopping trip or green thumb away – the association offers an interesting list of fresh herbs that can be grown in a garden or garden box with an explanation of how to use them including, basil, cilantro, mint, oregano, parsley and rosemary.012
  • Get Moving says the AHA – physical activity gets the heart pumping. Walking is still considered one of best forms of activity because it “has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It’s the simplest positive change you can make to improve heart health.”
  • Take off some weight – “small everyday choices matter.” Reach for no sugar added applesauce as a morning snack rather than a pastry.
  • Stress management – it may be easier said than done but it’s not impossible and quite important when your life can depend on chilling-out. OK, maybe that store clerk was rude or the coffee arrived less than hot but letting everyday annoyances make you hot under the collar isn’t worth the blood pressure spike. Here are a few AHA recommended “emergency stress stoppers”: take three to five deep breaths; count to ten before speaking; walk away from the stressful situation and determine to handle it later; take a walk; don’t shy away from saying “I’m sorry” if you make a mistake; set your watch ten minutes ahead to avoid being late; break problems down into smaller parts like answering one letter or phone call a day; drive in the slow lane or stay clear of busy roads to help remain calm when behind the wheel; smell a rose – yes literally – stop to smell the roses,  hug a loved one or smile at a neighbor; give meditation or prayer a try “to break the negative cycle”.
  • Quit smoking
  • As parents and caregivers encourage healthy choices for children
  • Employers – Invest in “workplace wellness


In that heart disease affects an alarmingly high number of women, the “Wear Red” campaign with its red dress and red high heels icons seems directed at females. Certainly, however, seeing men wearing red tomorrow too will be a welcome sight – it might even make a heart or two beat a bit faster.




*The AHA is asking that participants post their red attire photos with the #GoRedWearRed


**Consult a physician about making any health choices