Friday, February 22, 2019

Women's Heart Health #3

I'm continuing a series on women's cardiac fitness as part of February's Heart Health Month. Heart disease is a woman's No. 1 health risk. The good news is that 80% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable.



In Your 40's


As you enter perimenopause, estrogen levels drop so you have less of it's protective effects. You may see your HDL (good) cholesterol go down and your LDL (bad) go up. Exercise is your prescription. It raises your HDL and the more HDL, the more protection you have. Change up your workout plan to keep your heart challenged.



Watch Your Waist

For women, a waist of 35 inches or up has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Keep your waistline trim with high-intensity interval training.

Watch Your Blood Sugar

Your risk for Type 2 diabetes goes up once you hit 45. Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease because it leads to hardening of the arteries. Get your sweet fix from whole fruits to reverse the trend.

Watch Your Stress

Research has shown that uncontrolled anxiety (or depression) can be an underlying cause of heart disease. The mental stress raises cortisol, which enhances the build up of plaque in your arteries. Weave stress relief into your schedule, whether it's listening to music, doing yoga, or meditating.



Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food 




Friday, February 8, 2019

Women's Heart Health #2

I'm continuing a series on women's cardiac fitness as part of February's Heart Health Month. Heart disease is a woman's No. 1 health risk. The good news is that 80% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable.



In Your 20's & 30's


Establish good  lifestyle habits now and it will be easier to stick with them throughout the years.

  • Exercise regularly to help keep your cholesterol and blood pressure low.
  • Stop smoking. This can reduce risk of a heart attack by 40%.
  • Limit alcohol. One glass of red wine can positively affect cholesterol. More than that can raise blood pressure.
You've got a good supply of estrogen during these years. This hormone helps increase HDL (good cholesterol), reduce LDL (bad), and relax blood vessels for strong blood flow.


You may become pregnant during these years. If you have complications like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or pre-eclampsia, you're at risk for heart disease, especially five to fifteen years post-delivery. In this case, your doctor should monitor you.


In your 20s and 30s, enjoy the protective benefits of estrogen and establish good health habits, not only for now but for the future.


Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Saturday, February 2, 2019

February is Heart Health Month


I'm starting a February series on women's cardiac fitness as part of Heart Health Month. Today I'll share a short overview of heart health. Following blog posts will discuss strategies for heart attack prevention for each decade of a woman's life. Most tips will apply to men, as well, so guys - keep reading!


Heart disease is a woman's No. 1 health risk. The good news is that 80% of heart attacks and strokes are preventable.

Know Your Stats

Check your cholesterol every five years and your blood pressure and hemoglobin A1c (a test for diabetes, which impacts heart health) every two years.  HDL protects your cardiac health - you want a number in the higher range. Look for low numbers in the bad LDL.

Know Your Family History

If a parent or sibling has early heart disease your risk increases. Know what type of cardiac event occurred before 55 for men or before 65 for women to assess your risk.


Know The Signs

Heart attack symptoms can be different for women:
  • pain in the shoulders, neck, jaw, upper back or arms
  • unexplained dizziness or fainting, light-headedness, or palpitations
  • shortness of breath or trouble breathing without chest discomfort
  • clammy sweating
  • stomach pain, abdominal pressure or nausea
  • unusual weakness, fatigue or inability to perform simple activities

If you or someone you know is having these symptoms, call 911 and say, "I think I am having a heart attack." so the EMTs will come prepared.

You care for your outside - clothes, hair and make-up. Be heart smart and care for your inside - your cardiovascular system - just as much.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food