Ah February, the month of love but more importantly, it is also American Heart Awareness Month. Did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States? Let’s take some time this February to not only put a little love in our hearts but put a little heart knowledge in our brain.
A common challenge for women is that our symptoms of heart disease differ from men. Luckily, we can learn what to look out for and how to reduce the risk.
The most common symptom, like men, is pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. This pain may not be terribly severe and could go unnoticed. Symptoms that are unrelated to chest pain for women include
-Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
-Shortness of breath
-Pain in one or both arms
-Nausea or vomiting
-Lightheadedness or dizziness
Some tips to help you make good decisions about your heart health:
-Eat a heart healthy diet
-Manage any current health conditions
–Know the signs of a heart attack to look out for
-Say “No” to smoking
-Maintain a healthy weight
Heart healthy foods:
-Healthy nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.)
-Red, yellow and orange veggies
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week. Of course the option of a combination of the two is acceptable as well. That being said, about 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is most desired.
Ideal heart health exercises include:
-Taking a bike ride
-Using an elliptical
I must add that I am not a health professional but was quite flabbergasted when I read that heart disease is the number one killer among women. These are all great tips that were researched and suggested by much more qualified people than myself. I just felt it is definitely something that us women should be more aware of and do everything we can to lead a much happier and healthier life.
Blog by: Katie Fields