I love my wife, my mom, my daughter, my sister-in-law; you get the idea.
That’s why when I discovered some of the shocking information on heart disease and women in America, I not only felt it was necessary to learn as much as I could, but to also support Go Red for Women and help spread the word on what a tremendous impact this disease has on so many families.
Are you aware that heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in America and is still mostly considered a man’s disease? According to the American Heart Association, it is the cause of “1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute.”
Are you aware that a woman is more likely to have a heart attack without chest pain? Researchers at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada and reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine have determined that women are less likely to have classic chest pain associated with heart attack than men.
Are you aware that only 1 in 5 American women believe that heart disease is her greatest health threat?
The good news is it’s never too late to do something about it. Imagine dramatically reducing your risk of heart disease and getting things under control with just a few easy changes; seven to be exact. The American Heart Association suggests you manage your heart risk by understanding “Life’s Simple 7.”
1. Get Active
Daily physical activity, even just 30 minutes a day, several times a week, will lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Have the energy to play with your kids and let them join in on the fun!
2. Control Your Cholesterol
Know your cholesterol number! Why? High bad cholesterol (LDL), combines with white blood cells and forms plaque in your veins and arteries, which can lead to blockages and increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. Eat Better
A healthy diet high in veggies, fruit, lean meats (including fish) and other whole foods, gives your body the essential building blocks for a healthy cardiovascular system and a healthy life.
4. Manage Blood Pressure
It’s been long known that high blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Certain ethnic groups may be at higher risk of hypertension, so it’s important to know what your specific risks are. Hypertension causes increased strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys and doesn’t always present symptoms. Know your numbers!
5. Lose Weight
Having excess fat – especially around your middle – means you’re at an increased risk of many factors which are associated with heart health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Just losing a few extra pounds – say 5 or 10 – can significantly reduce your blood pressure. Find out your BMI; know your numbers!
6. Reduce Blood Sugar
High blood sugar and insulin levels can lead to diabetes, and although it is a treatable disease, it can significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Most people with diabetes die from some form of heart or blood vessel disease. Know your numbers!
7. Stop Smoking
Cigarette smokers put themselves and those around them at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke; quit! It’s never too late to make the change. Quitting will also reduce your risk of many other debilitating and life threatening complications.
Click on each category for specifics or visit The American Heart Association