‘Hashtag Our Hearts’
‘Wear Red Day’ Focuses on Heart-Healthy Benefits of Social Networks
NIH’ers braved snow and bitter cold temperatures to attend a special dance event on National Wear Red Day, Feb. 1. Led by NHLBI director Dr. Gary Gibbons, an enthusiastic crowd gathered in the Clinical Research Center atrium and moved to the beat of heart-pumping music to help kick off American Heart Month.
This year’s theme, #OurHearts, emphasizes the power of social support in helping people make heart-healthy choices. Studies have linked social isolation with obesity, smoking and high blood pressure, all of which can lead to long-term health problems, including heart disease, stroke and cancer. By contrast, social support helps people make healthy lifestyle changes by keeping them physically active, promoting weight loss, encouraging healthier eating and helping people quit smoking. Follow the conversation online by using #OurHearts and visiting https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-truth/our-hearts.
Based on the large number of people wearing red on Feb. 1, there is plenty of social support on hand at NIH. Volunteers spread out over the campus handing out buttons and stickers to encourage others to embrace healthier lifestyles. Other activities included tempting displays of heart-healthy foods at campus cafes and lots of signage across campus declaring “Wear Red Day.”
NHLBI continued Heart Month events throughout February, including live cooking demonstrations on campus featuring heart-healthy foods and more. It’s never too late to join the growing effort to fight heart disease, the leading cause of death among women and men in the United States.