Wear Red on February 2, 2018 to Support Women’s Heart Health
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Causing 1 in 3 deaths which is approximately one woman every minute! Yet, only 1 in 5 American women would say that heart disease is her greatest health threat.
Strategies to Prevent Heart Disease
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products. The chemicals contained in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels. This leads to narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). The carbon monoxide in cigarettes increases your blood pressure and heart rate by forcing your heart to work harder to supply adequate oxygen.
- Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. Daily exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease. When you combine physical activity with maintaining a healthy weight the payoff is even greater. Try doing moderate exercise, such as walking, for about 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Eat a heart healthy diet. A heart healthy diet is composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, low-fat or fat-free dairy products and lean meats. Limiting certain foods is also important. Foods such as fried fast-foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods, chips and cookies.
- Get enough quality sleep. People who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression. Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you are constantly yawning and struggle to get through the day, you need more sleep.
- Manage Stress. Find healthy ways to manage stress. Whether that is seeking help from a counselor, engaging in physical activity, relaxation exercises, meditation or just doing more things that make you happy, make it a priority to manage your stress.
- Get regular health screenings. These screenings include, blood pressure checks, cholesterol levels, and diabetes screenings. Get yearly physicals from your healthcare provider.
- Manage Your Blood Pressure. When your BP stays within a healthy range, it will reduce the strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys.
- Control Your Cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterol, good and bad. Understanding the difference and knowing the levels of each in your blood is critical. Too much of one type, or not enough of another, can put you at risk.
- Reduce Blood Sugar. Most of the foods we eat turn into glucose (blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes, and nerves.
Causes of Heart Attacks in Women
Heart attacks occur when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked by buildup of plaque in coronary arteries. Initial causes can often be the usual suspects suck as smoking, high-stress lifestyles, excessively overweight.
Symptoms of a Heart Attack
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the chest of chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
- Pain or discomfort in one or both of your arms, back, neck, jaw or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat, nausea or light headed
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms, do not wait to call for help, dial 911 right away. Do not drive yourself or have someone drive you unless you have no other choice. Try to stay as calm as possible and take deep, slow breaths while you wait for help to arrive.
For more information visit the Go Red for Women Website