The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women program and The Huffington Post co-hosted an event Wednesday in New York City for bloggers, news media and others involved in raising awareness about the No. 1 killer of women – heart disease.

The event began with a panel discussion on how women can unite to end heart disease, especially how they can put their health needs — and the health of women they love — first. Laura Shocker, The Huffington Post’s Healthy Living executive editor, moderated the discussion.

“The most important thing you can do for your body is to put yourself first,” said panelist Ary Nunez, founder of Gotham Global Fitness and an AHA volunteer. “Treat your body like a Ferrari.  You’re not a Ford, baby.”

Other panelists included:

  • Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., director of Women & Heart Disease, Lenox Hill Hospital and Go Red For Women national spokeswoman.
  • Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., Health & Diet editor, NBC News
  • Michael Grandner, Ph.D., instructor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania
  • Crystal Wall, ambassador, Feel Rich; Owner, Mix Fitz Fitness; Go Red For Women website contributor.

Key advice to women from the panelists included:

  • “Eighty to 90 percent of the time heart disease is preventable and due to lifestyle issues,” Fernstrom said.
  • “Your genes are not your destiny,” said Steinbaum. “Family history doesn’t mean genetics, it means how you were raised.”
  • “One of the best ways we can educate kids on health is setting a good example by making healthy choices,” said Grandner.
  • “Seven-and-a-half hours is the ‘sweet spot’ for the most beneficial amount of sleep,” said Steinbaum.
  • “Try sleeping just a little bit more. If you start feeling better, you might want to get a little more shut eye,” said Grandner.

Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s national movement to end heart disease in women. It has a 10-year legacy of leading the fight against heart disease through education and research.


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