UIW’s Fashion Show & Health Fair promotes cardiac health

    14th Annual Red Dress Fashion Show & Health Fair will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the McCombs Center Rosenberg Sky Room. (Courtesy photo)

    The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is proud to present the upcoming 14th Annual Red Dress Fashion Show & Health Fair to promote cardiac health and one-of-a-kind designs by UIW fashion students.

    The free event will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the McCombs Center Rosenberg Sky Room. This year’s event features over 20 health and lifestyle vendors offering a variety of special activities and exhibits to the open public.

    Students from UIW’s professional programs will be on hand to check blood pressures, glucose levels, provide visions screenings and offer information on the importance of maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle. The annual Red Dress event supports the American Heart Association (AHA) and their “Go Red” campaign during National Heart Month in February.

    “The fashion show consists of nothing but red dresses, encouraging people to wear red for the month of February. Wearing red during the month of February symbolizes that an individual is fighting and working to protecting and take care of their heart,” Co-chair of UIW Red Dress Fashion Show & Health Fair Teri Lopez told La Prensa. “We get about 200 to 250 people, and we don’t just have parents and students come in, we have people in the community who enjoy themselves every year.”

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for more than 17.3 million deaths per year, stated the AHA in 2016. That number is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030.

    “There are a lot of causes for cardiovascular disease when people have high lipids, eat a high fat diet, which affects the blood vessels in the body. This leads to high blood pressure and makes the heart work harder,” expounded UIW Associate Professor Lourdes Alarcón Fortepiani, MD, PhD. “Genetics and high blood sugar have the same impact on the circulation of the heart.”

    In order to prevent cardiovascular disease to run in your body, here are a few tips from AHA you can follow to create a healthier lifestyle.

    Eat a balanced diet

    Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. Nutrient-rich foods have minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients but are lower in calories. They may help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

    Eat an overall healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry, fish nuts, legumes and non-tropical vegetable oils. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.

    Avoid tobacco

    Smokers have a higher risk of developing many chronic disorders including atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty substances in the arteries, which leads to coronary heart disease and stroke. People who smoke cigars or pipes also have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than nonsmokers.

    Each year, about 34,000 adults die from heart and blood vessel disease caused by other people’s smoke. The risk of stroke for nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke is increased by an estimated 20–30 percent. Heart disease can be prevented and controlled, but you must follow your treatment plan — and quitting smoking is a big part.

    Make physical activity a part of your life

    For overall cardiovascular health, it is recommended to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week for a total of 150 minutes; at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least three days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity at least two days per week for additional health benefits.

    For lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, an average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three or four times per week.

    For more information, visit www.heart.org/heartorg.