Do you believe that your chance of having a cardiac episode depends on your genes? Think you don’t have much control? Not true. 80% of heart disease is preventable, this statistic comes from the American Heart Association. Certain types of heart disease are genetic and difficult to detect but for the most part, your lifestyle dictates your chance of heart problems, including stroke.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S.
Sharp chest pain is obvious but there is a wide range of symptoms associated with a heart attack and these symptoms do not always include distinct chest pain, especially in women. Can’t stress that point enough, ladies!
Certain symptoms can be subtle but very distinct signs that you should head straight to the ER. These symptoms are often associated with other issues that are not serious or life threatening so it’s easy to ignore them or pass them off as simply discomfort or a minor issue.
- Extreme fatigue
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling light headed or dizzy
- Nausea and indigestion
- Shortness of breath
- Tingling of the hands
- Pain in a hand- even in a finger.
This is not to say that if you are experiencing one of these symptoms it’s a heart issue, women can feel light headed for a variety of reasons, heart palpitations are common with thyroid issues and menopause, a plate full of spicy enchiladas can bring on a lovely episode of indigestion.
However, all of these are symptoms are often associated with other ailments making it less obvious when a woman is having a heart attack so it’s good to be aware, particularly if you’re experiencing more than one or there’s no good reason.
Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined
- Adopt a healthy diet It’s an obvious one but too many people have poor diets. Avoid foods with saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fried food! Eat the bad stuff once in a while but on a regular basis, indulge in fruits, veggies, superfoods, foods high in antioxidants and fiber
- Exercise!! Get your heart rate going with some cardio nearly everyday, strength train a few times a week and zen out with some yoga
- Do NOT smoke Seriously, do we even have to discuss this?
- Keep your alcohol consumption moderate
- Keep your weight down That does not mean you have to be some unrealistic size, just stay within a range that is healthy for your height and keep your waist circumference and BMI in the healthy zone (besides, booties are in girls, so don’t bother getting rid of what he likes to grab!). Curious about your BMI? Check it here. If you do have some lbs. to get rid of, click here to book a quick complimentary Eco Wellness consultation with me, my weight loss program just might be the perfect fit for you. It’s easy to follow and highly effective, designed for optimal health making it easy to lose weight fast because it gets your body into fat burning mode and improves heart health.
- Go for regular check-ups Start young, even people in their twenties should get physicals
- Test your glucose Dr. Roshini Raj recommends that everyone have a glucose test for diabetes every 3 years because diabetes is a major cause of heart disease. She also says it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about taking the new LDL particle test
- Know your blood pressure Have your cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar tested. Ideal BP is 115/76 or lower. Your bad cholesterol (LDL) should be lower than 100 and your good cholesterol (HDL) should be higher than 50. Even a slight elevation of any one of these can double or possibly quadruple your risk for stroke but you can lessen that chance with proper care
- Know your family health history
- Stress Less Anxiety hurts your heart so much that highly anxious types are two times as likely to suffer a heart attack or die that those who take things in stride and stay calm. Want to help ease anxiety? Meditate! Even 10 minutes a day will help. “There are 1440 minutes in a day. They’ll all go better if you take 10 of them to meditate.” ~Marie Forleo
- Get busy in the bedroom (I’m throwing in a juicy bonus tip ~ happens to be my personal favorite) Intimate sex and loving affection are very good for your heart as well your over all mental and physical well being. Plus, is there really anything more fun?! Bow Chicka bow wow… 😉
February is National Heart Month
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