Wake County Goes Red for Heart Health Awareness

american heart month 2

Tonight, the Wake County Justice Center in downtown Raleigh will begin to glow red in support of American Heart Month, launching a month of events and activities to increase awareness about heart health and highlight steps we can all take to live a healthy lifestyle.

“Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women,” said Shinica Thomas, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners. “Heart disease and stroke are especially serious for women, particularly women of color, killing more females than all forms of cancer combined. But, with proper prevention, treatment and management, 80% of cardiac events can be prevented. Small changes today can affect the bigger ones tomorrow.”

Heart Healthy Events and Activities

During February, Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space is partnering with Wake County Health and Human Services to feature a special “heart healthy” trail at each of its parks and preserves as part of the Year of the Trail celebration. Visitors can look for the special sign at the trailhead. Anyone who completes one of these designated trails can be entered in to win a Heart Month/Year of the Trail prize pack.

To enter the drawing, visitors need only to scan the QR code or visit the web address on the trail marker sign and fill out the online form. Health tips will also be shared on signs along the trail. Prizes will be drawn weekly.

Year of the Trail Heart health

Additional Heart Health Month events provided by Wake County Health and Human Services Health Promotion Division include:

  • National Wear Red Day – Friday, Feb. 3:
    Join millions of people across the country wearing red and bringing attention to heart disease in women.
  • Mexican Consulate Heart Health Month Celebration – Wednesday, Feb. 15:
    The Mexican Consulate is hosting a special event to share how gum disease is linked to heart health. Topics include daily oral care and heart disease prevention/risk factors.
  • Feel the Beat Exercise-A-Thon – Friday, Feb. 17:
    Celebrate Heart Health Month with fun and free fitness activities at the Southeast Raleigh YMCA. The event will include Zumba, boot camp, line dancing, door prizes and more.
  • Keep Your Heart Healthy with Wake County Public Libraries – Tuesday, Feb. 21, and Wednesday, Feb. 22:
    Learn how to care for your heart. Find out the warning signs of heart disease and tips for decreasing your risk. Virtual and in-person options available.

Know Your Risks and Save a Life

It’s important to know the facts about heart disease. Health conditions, lifestyle, age and family history can increase your risk for heart disease. While you can’t change your age or family history, you can take steps to lower your risk by changing the factors you can control:

  • Managing your blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
  • Preventing or managing diabetes;
  • Avoiding tobacco use;
  • Eating a healthy diet; and
  • Getting regular physical activity.

American Heart Month is the perfect time to learn to save a life with CPR. According to the American Heart Association, over 350,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital each year. Knowing CPR can provide vital support that will dramatically increase the victim's chances for survival.

Sign up for a free CPR class with Wake County Emergency Medical Services. Classes are offered every month and include learning how to correctly use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

For more information on Heart Health Month activities, visit wake.gov/hearthealth.

Press Release