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

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