The threat of going on insulin to control her Type 2 diabetes was what finally pushed Amy Magan to make the drastic diet changes that have allowed her to take control of her health.
But it was the community of the American Heart Association’s Go Red Get Fit Facebook group that helped keep her inspired.
“It was so inspiring to see all these women who are taking control of their lives and deciding to write a different chapter,” she said.
Magan, who lives near Indianapolis, was the winner of the Go Red Get Fit 2016 Facebook group-based social media fitness challenge. Go Red Get Fit is an initiative of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women cause campaign designed to help women from diverse communities make healthy changes that become lifelong habits.
The 2017 Go Red Get Fit campaign, which is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, offers quarterly health and fitness goals led by fitness trainers. This year’s campaign will continue to be led by celebrity trainer Scott Parker. Fitness mentor Lisa Morales will also be joining. This spring, participants are challenged to log 10,000 steps a day, get their cholesterol checked and talk with their doctors about what the numbers mean.
There are two types of cholesterol, a waxy substance that can form plaque between layers of artery walls. Too much of one type or not enough of another can create a risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Understanding what cholesterol numbers mean and how they can be improved through diet and exercise are important steps toward improving heart health.
Each year, one in three women’s deaths can be attributed to cardiovascular disease, but 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. For many people, one barrier to getting healthy is a lack of guidance and support to make the necessary changes.
Parker suggests getting a sense of how many daily steps you’re already taking before focusing on the 10,000-step goal.
“See where you are and then identify where in your daily life you can find space to get more steps,” Parker said. “You might not make 10,000 steps each day. I don’t. That’s OK. Just try to be more active the next day. It’s about being accountable.”