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February is Healthy Heart Month

Category : Active Living, Exercise

Go Red For Women…What’s it all about?

It’s not just a fashion statement and it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

It’s about heart disease awareness…especially for women because heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

 Warning signs of a heart attack

Every 25 seconds an American will have what the CDC terms a ‘coronary event’ or what most of us would call a heart attack.  The sooner a person receives medical attention, the more likely they are to recover. That is why it is critical that everyone knows the warning signs of a heart attack. 

If you’re experiencing a heart attack you’ll feel chest pain, right? Maybe…for many it is much less obvious. The National Institutes of Health lists the following symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort (still the most common symptom) usually in the center of the chest
  • Chest discomfort lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

 Who is in danger? There are many risk factors which can contribute to heart disease:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • High stress levels
  • Unchecked diabetes

 Of course, some risk factors cannot be changed such as your age and your family history. Men who are 45 or older and women who are 55 or older are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women. If your siblings, parents or grandparents have had heart attacks, you may be at increased risk, so it is important to know your family history and share it with your doctor.

 What you can do to beat the “Silent Killer”

According to Heart Truth, “By doing just 4 things—eating right, being physically active, not smoking, and keeping a healthy weight—you can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent.”

Exercising 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and risk of stroke by 25 percent. Studies have shown that exercise can reduce many of the risk factors including your blood pressure, your weight, your cholesterol and your stress levels. 

If you are inactive, it’s time to get moving. Five times a week probably sounds impossible. That’s OK, start with 3 days per week and see how you feel. 30 minutes may seem like a very long time, if so, break it up! The AHA states that three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session! You CAN do it. Do it for yourself, do it for your family! Be sure to check with your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program if you have any of the risk factors.

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If you have questions regarding starting up an exercise program to improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease please don’t hesitate to contact us at