wear red day 2016 – Wearing Red, Changing Hearts

Wearing Red, Changing Hearts

wearing red

For 13 years, the American Heart Association and the
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have been changing hearts.

Every first Friday in February, the organization brings awareness to heart disease and stroke after discovering that it is the number one killer of women each year. Donations are received by men and women across the nation, while women are raising awareness for the cause by wearing the color red.

Red – a color that is bright, bold, and beautiful symbolizes not only the fire inside women all over the country to put an end to this deadly disease, but also symbolizes the color of our hearts. The event lands in the heart-filled month of February, but far enough away from Valentine’s Day to stand out as a national event of its own.

Why is it important to recognize this on behalf of women across the county? According to an article on, Behind National Wear Red Day, “… the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.”

Heart disease, in fact, kills more women than men every year. A large percentage of women do not know this, nor do they believe it, which is why the campaign began and still continues today.

Many organizations and celebrities across the country have participated in the event. In fact, Macy’s, the department store, is the campaign’s national sponsor.

go red

Macy’s has supported the campaign by providing incentive for its customers to save money while giving money. You can find out more about Macy’s promotions by clicking Here.

Not only is Macy’s helping spread awareness of the cause, but women all over the country have reaped the benefits. According to statistics from the American Heart Association, 285 lives are saved every day from this campaign and more than $55 million have been donated to this cause. That’s a lot of money and a lot of lives.

red hand

The American Heart Association has promoted ways to prevent heart disease for different age groups on their website as well. But despite your age, the two main changes you can make in your lifestyle to prevent heart disease is eating healthy and being physically active.

In addition, heart attack symptoms are different in women than in men. According to data provided by the American Heart Association, there are 5 primary signs that women, specifically, will see in the event of a heart attack:

  1. “Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.”
  2. “Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.”
  3. “Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.”
  4. “Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.”
  5. “As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.”

All of these resources and more are available on, but the American Heart Association doesn’t stop there. A variety of changes have been made in the lives of women since the start of the Go Red For Women campaign in 2003. According to

  • “Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.”
  • “More than one-third of women has lost weight.”
  • “More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.”
  • “6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.”
  • “More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.”
  • “One third of women has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.”
  • “Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.”
  • “Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.”

red globe

What an incredible change! And more change still needs made. The Harrisburg Area YMCA has been partnering with American Heart and Lung Association in a variety of programs, including Tobacco Cessation and Diabetes Prevention, and will be supporting the Go Red cause on Friday, February 5th. Not only will staff be wearing red to help raise awareness for this event, but the West Shore YMCA will be collaborating with the American Heart Association to promote National Women’s Heart Month at their branch during the day, as well!

So, please join the American Heart Association and millions of women this year by wearing red on February 5th, 2016, and donating to the Go Red For Women foundation. Your contributions to this worthy cause are truly making a difference!

For more information on the “Wear Red” event and the Go Red For Women campaign, please visit the following links below:

About “Go Red For Women”

Behind National Wear Red Day

National Wear Red Day

Emily Sanville, Digital Communications Coordinator

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