Metro

Stepping to a heart healthy beat

The Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. launched a month of events to promote a heart healthy lifestyle.
Psi Omega Chapter
The Psi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. launched a month of events to promote a heart healthy lifestyle.

Moving to the beat of hip-hop, salsa, and other dance music, nearly 100 women kicked off American Heart Month with “The Boss Chick Workout,” at the Cabral Center at Northeastern University.

The high-intensity cardio routine was organized by Psi Omega, the Boston chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the nation’s oldest sorority for African-American women, as part of a campaign called “Pink Goes Red for Heart Health.”

For February, the sorority has shed its traditional pink color in favor of red, to encourage African-American women to live heart healthy lives. African-American women are at a high risk for heart disease, due to factors such as high-blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.

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And nearly half of African-American women in the country have some type of cardiovascular disease, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention .

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“It’s really important to know that there’s a lot of disparity with African-American women and heart disease,” said Kathy Lucas, president of the 93-year-old Psi Omega Chapter.

The local chapter vows to do its part to fight heart disease.

The“Boss Chick Workout” session on Feb. 1, led by Portia Singh, a local trainer and sorority member, drew women of all ages. At its peak, about 71 women worked out to all types of music, such as R & B and afrobeats fusion, according to the sorority.

“She gave an amazing class,” Lucas said.

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The sorority is encouraging members to make lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease.

All month long, they’ll be encouraged to plan healthy lunches and take part in a 10,000-steps per day fitness challenge. They will be tracking their progress on social media under the hashtags #AKABoston, #PsiOmega, and #PinkGoesRed.

Other events will target emotional and cognitive well-being.

On Feb. 16, the chapter will invite young women to attend a performance of “Ragtime” at Wheelock College to encourage their interest in the arts.

Psi Omega will also conduct a financial program in April. And a mental health awareness project with young girls in May, according to the chapter.

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“We’re trying to carry that healthy lifestyle throughout the year,” Lucas said.

Kathy McCabe of the Globe Staff contributed to this story. Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.