It’s National Wear Red Day in support of women and heart health! 
In honor of that important topic, I’m sharing my February column on heart health and Valentine’s Day from CAWLM. With heart disease the #1 killer of women; it pays to educate yourself. Life’s far too precious to take our tickers for granted.
Now put down that extra slice of cheesy pizza, ladies and read on!


Valentine’s Day is all about love. We celebrate the day with fragrant flowers, decadent chocolates, fantasy lingerie, and silly sayings on tiny candy hearts that taste a bit like chalk—and we make our men work overtime delivering all the romantic goods.

With the month’s big focus on hearts, did you also know that one in two women will die from heart disease? Visualize a room full of your dearest women friends and survey the potentially devastating losses. This simple exercise should drive home the point that our tickers deserve LOL every day, not just on February 14th.

Our hearts are our best buddies. They keep on beating as we try to recover from painful breakups, run marathons and endure childbirth and sweaty hot flashes. They inspire us to proclaim undying love in rambling letters and gooey poetry that rarely rhymes. Our hearts let us function on zero sleep when colicky babies demand soothing.

Hearts keep us breathing after great loss when we’re convinced they’ve been ripped from our chests, rudely stomped on and jammed back into place. They’re loyal, even when we overindulge in beer and margaritas, deep-dish pizza, Mackinac Island fudge, and too much Red Bull—again.

Fortunately, there’s much we can do to drastically reduce our risk of being on the receiving end of an unnerving statistical equation. You know the drill— don’t smoke, drop the belly fat, up the heart rate, eat more fruits and veggies, reduce stress, and forgive those who challenge your patience when they cut you off in traffic, or boldly chat on cell phones in bathrooms and movie theaters.

The heart is a marvel, one many take for granted. On this Valentine’s Day, put the chocolate down and tune into your heartbeat for a minute. Become fully absorbed in the thump-thump wonder of this 9-ounce miracle muscle that works 24/7, 365 days a year, with no vacations, no paycheck, and few thanks— then decide how you can better help this miraculous ticker live strong in 2009.

February is all about our hearts, ladies.

Show yours some love— and eat the dark chocolates.