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Wear Red Day 2011: Teaching Girls to be Heart Smart

Little girl

Today's a particularly good day to dress your daughters in red and talk to them about the importance of keeping their hearts healthy

Wearing red in February isn’t just reserved for Valentine’s Day anymore.

The next time you help your daughter pick out her clothes, be sure to pull something red out of her closet. Today is National Wear Red Day, which is intended to raise awareness of heart disease and women, and it’s never too soon to teach your little ones about the importance of being heart healthy.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, although heart attacks are generally thought to be a “man thing.” One in four women will die of heart disease, compared to one in 30 who will die from breast cancer. In fact, more women die of heart disease than from all types of cancer combined.

Heart disease is brought on when arteries in the heart become blocked, preventing oxygen and other vital nutrients from traveling to the heart. Once diagnosed, it will remain for life. While mostly middle-aged women are affected, heart disease can strike teenagers as well. African Americans and Hispanics are also more prone to heart disease, as are those with high blood pressure and cholesterol. Overweight people and smokers face increased risks, too.

Here are 10 easy ways to help your daughter learn to stay heart healthy:

1. Walk with her to school instead of drive

2. Sign her up for a soccer, softball, lacrosse or another recreational sports team

3. Take her for a swim on the weekends at the town pool

4. Seek her input in planning and cooking heart healthy meals for the family

6. Keep cut up fruit and vegetables with tasty dips like hummus on hand in the refrigerator for quick snacks

7. When there’s extra daylight, go for a stroll after dinner instead of sitting down to watch television

8. Remind her often about the perils of smoking

9. Have her save some of her allowance and donate it personally to an organization that does research on heart disease

10. Wear red with pride today, and be sure to tell everyone why.

Will you dress in red today?

Image: MorgueFile

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