KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- The Wellness and Fitness Center staff at Kansas City Kansas Community College are encouraging KCKCC employees and students to Go Red for Women.
On Friday, Feb. 7, everyone is encouraged to wear red as a way to remind people to eat healthier, be more physically active and to talk to their doctor about their own personal risk for heart disease.
“We want to remind women to take action against heart disease,” said Pam Hall, wellness specialist and the Wellness and Fitness Center. “Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. It is more deadly for women then all forms of cancer, causing one in three deaths each year (according to the American Heart Association). We want our community to be aware of their personal risk and then take action.”
National Wear Red Day is the first Friday of February each year. It is the day selected to bring awareness to heart disease and its impact not only on woman, but men as well. The first event was in 2003 and since then, the red dress has become a symbol for the battle against heart disease.
According to the American Heart Association, through research and education since the Go Red campaign started, 34 percent fewer women die from heart disease and more women are taking control of their health by losing weight, checking their cholesterol and increasing the amount of daily exercise.
In addition, 15 percent have quit smoking and more gender-specific guidelines have been developed when it comes to diagnosing heart disease.
“First, we would like to promote cardiovascular health and part of that is encouraging the students, faculty, staff and community members to be more physically active,” Hall said. “It is ideal to get 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (walking, biking, elliptical, etc.) in on most if not every day of the week for heart health benefits.”
As part of National Wear Red Day, the wellness center is hosting the “Have a Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day” Event on Feb. 14. There will be two stationary bicycles reserved for the event.
One bike will be an “Employee Only” bike, with the other bike being a “Student/Community Member Only” bike. People who want to participate are asked to sign-up at the Wellness Center for a pre-determined time slot (30 minutes) to ride for that day.
The goal is to fill every 30 minute time slot with an employee, student or community member who is motivated to fulfill their cardiovascular commitment of riding the Technogym bike.
The event will start at 5:30 a.m. and have participants riding until 7 p.m. that evening. This is the second year for the event, but last year it was only open to KCKCC employees as a Wellness Committee event. Flyers will be distributed next week to encourage those interested to sign up.
“Lastly we want to encourage everyone to launch their own personal defense against heart disease,” Hall said. “This would include good nutrition, quitting smoking, knowing their numbers (blood pressure and cholesterol), eliminating processed foods and get moving with regular exercise.”
For more information on National Wear Red Day or the Go Red for Women camping, visit www.goredforwomen.org/. For more information or to register for the “Have a Heart Healthy Valentine’s Day,” call the Wellness and Fitness Center at 913- 288-7368.