Dallas, Texas - The American Heart Association and Macy’s are proud to announce Go Red Get Fit - a free online fitness challenge to help women to get fit for life and reduce their risk of heart disease - the No. 1 killer of women.

Go Red Get Fit is the latest initiative of the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. As the founding national sponsor, Macy’s has helped to raise more than $55 million for the cause since 2004. With the goal of providing women with the support, information and tools to make key lifestyle changes in order to reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke, the Go Red Get Fit challenge is set to launch on March 11.

The fitness challenge will be hosted by three industry expert trainers including Lita Lewis, who is a globally renowned health and wellness personality also known as @followtheLita to her legions of followers on social media; Ary Nunez, a bilingual celebrity fitness trainer, “Modern Day Ninja” and  “ArysAmerica” life coach; Ary is a 15 year Nike sponsored athlete whose most notable clients are Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Kat de Luna, and has trained with top schools of dance and martial arts and holds black belts in Karate, Tae Kwon Do and Kung Fu; and Scott Parker, known as “the go to trainer for Hollywood stars,” whose roster includes celebrities like Jill Scott, Tasha Smith and D'Angelo, and who specializes in holistic approaches to a healthy mind, body and soul.

Women can participate in the challenge by joining the Go Red Get Fit Facebook group. The quarterly challenges are designed to create optimal results through lifestyle changes. Each challenge will last about 12-weeks, the amount of time it takes for a behavior to become a habit. The challenges are:

  • “Take Steps and Drop Sweets” (March – May): Walk 10,000 steps per day and limit sugar intake to 24 grams per day.
  • “Up the Beat and Keep It 100” (June – August): Get 30 minutes of cardio per day, at least five days per week and drink at least 100 ounces of water per day.
  • “I Run This Salty Shaker” (September – November): Get 30 minutes of physical activity, at least five days a week and limit sodium consumption to 1,500 milligrams per day.
  • “Follow the Lead to Flawless” (December-February): Scripted exercises of the trainers’ choices and limit saturated fat consumption to 12 grams per day.

“Heart disease is not just a man’s disease. In fact, 1 in 3 women die each year from heart disease and stroke and it is affecting African American and Hispanic women at even greater rates,” says Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., professor of Cardiology & Population Health, R Hofsrta North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in Hempstead, New York and national volunteer spokesperson for the American Heart Association. “Of African American women ages 20 and older, 48.9 percent have cardiovascular disease and Hispanic women are likely to develop heart disease 10 years earlier than Caucasian women.” 

“We are thrilled to support the launch of Go Red Get Fit, an important challenge that will teach women how to make the necessary lifestyle changes to benefit their heart health,” said Martine Reardon, Macy’s Chief Marketing Officer. ”We are especially committed to helping to reduce heart disease and stroke in multicultural women, because they are disproportionally affected by heart disease. This challenge provides a supportive, engaging and motivational structure that will help the women who participate, create and maintain healthier habits that go a long way in reducing the risks of heart disease,” added, Ms. Reardon.

Participants will share and post messages, photos and videos of successes, encouragement and struggles within the group and some will be randomly chosen to win prizes from Go Red For Women and Macy’s including gift cards and ideology activewear. One person will win the grand prize - a full VIP experience at the Go Red For Women’s 2017 Red Dress Collection during fashion week in New York City in February.

For more information about cardiovascular diseases in women and how to prevent it, visit GoRedforWomen.org.