There are three things that come to my mind every February – Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month, and New York Fashion Week.  Love, desire for healthy living and fashion – it’s the prefect trifecta to get through this wintery month.   While I do love seeing what fall trends will be making their way into my closet, as a female  physician, my favorite event actually kick starts the first day of Fashion Week.

The National Institute of Health sponsors The Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fashion Show where the annual all-star runway extravaganza promotes heart health awareness among women.   Did you know that heart disease still kills more woman than all cancers combined?  It is the # 1 killer of women.  The American Heart Association goes one step further and asks all Americans to show their support for woman’s heart disease by sponsoring the National Wear Red Day. This annual event celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.  Since inception, 21% fewer women have died from heart disease and 23% are more aware it’s their #1 health threat. I am so happy to see the promotion of women’s health and survival moving out of the clinical space and onto the runway and our daily lives.   Visit the Go Red for Women website for some inspiration and information.

The challenge with heart disease is there are so many contributing factors – obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, high blood pressure, family history and more.  Considering how much of our days are sedentary (at a desk, in front of the TV/computer/iPad, in the car), it’s easy to see why obesity is an epidemic.  However, there is hope with many creative ideas available on how we can infuse healthy activity into our everyday lives. There are apps to help you chart and monitor your calories, there are utensils that will guide you on your speed in eating and devices you can wear to monitor your caloric burn. Over the course of the year, I am going to focus my future blogs on highlighting some of the technical innovations in health/ wellness, delivery of care, preventive care and more.

But today, on Valentine’s Day, when we’re all thinking about chocolate, wine and fancy high calorie dinners, I challenge us all to give a different gift.  It isn’t expensive and doesn’t require technology. Cherish your loved ones forever by committing to a daily walk.  On a non-romantic note, you could show colleagues at work you care about their health by scheduling a walking meeting – around the halls or outdoors. We know that it’s the simple things that can help us getting started on the right path and sometimes the first step is the hardest.

I sincerely wish everyone a wonderful (and healthy!) Valentine’s Day and look forward to chatting with you again soon.