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Heart Health Awareness Comes to Bronxville

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – For Nereida Quiles, Assistant Director of Admissions at Concordia College, it will be the addition of 15 minutes of exercise a day. For New York Life Insurance Agent Kara Schiff it will be getting more sleep. For Sobeida Cruz, vice president of environmental justice at the New York Power Authority, it will be giving up sugar and losing a few pounds.

"After that I will be Queen Cruz," Cruz said.

Cruz and Quiles, who are the board chair and president, respectively, of the 100 Hispanic Women organization were among the attendees of a breakfast at Siwanoy Club in Bronxville sponsored by the American Heart Association and People's United Bank. The event is part of the Heart Association's continuing "Go Red" campaign to bring awareness of heart disease to women and to help women take on new habits in order to live a healthier life

"One in every three women will die from heart disease,"  said Potoula Gjidija, a Heart Association representative. "That means in the United States, one woman dies every minute."

Gjidija said 10 years ago, only 37 percent of women were aware of heart disease as a risk factor.

"We have made some progress, now about 55 percent of all women are aware of heart disease," Gjidija said. "But we still have a long way to go."

In order to get there, the American Heart Association is encouraging women to spread the word.

"If we each tell five women about heart disease, it is one more way to get the word out." Gjidija said.

Another way was health and lifestyle coach Elaine Morales, who offered simple ideas for better health at Thursday morning's breakfast. Morales invited guests to make a 30-day commitment to one thing, such as eating less sugar, drinking more water, or getting more exercise.

"Invest yourself in a five minute morning ritual, take two deep breaths, share a hug, drink two glasses of water and ask yourself what are your intentions for the day and what is great about today," Elaine Morales said.

Kathleen Morales of People's United Bank took on another topic of interest to women - finances.

The American Heart Association will continue to offer events for women in an effort to raise awareness.

"There is still a sense of denial among women," Gjidija said. "We plan to keep talking about it until that perception has turned into awareness."

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