For the last 57 years we have recognized February as National Heart Health month. Every 43 seconds someone has a heart attack. It is the nations # 1 killer!
Heart Disease used to affect mainly the older population. Trends have been rising in younger adults between the ages of 35-64 and in youth. There are currently over 10,000 children between the ages 8 and 18 on statin medications!
50% of the US population has one of the top 3 risk factors:
* High Blood Pressure
- 50% of those with HBP do not have it under control.
* High Cholesterol
- Diabetes, obesity, smoking, eating unhealthy foods and not getting enough exercise all contribute to high cholesterol levels.
* Smokes Cigarettes
- 35 Million Americans smoke. Smoking damages blood vessels.
Men and women experience a heart attack differently and for many women their first heart attack is deadly. Because men and women experience different symptoms I am going to share with you the signs of a heart attack individually.
Signs of a Heart Attack in Men:
Pressure, tightness, pain or an aching sensation in your chest or left arm spreading into your jaw, neck or back. Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain. Shortness of breath, cold sweats, sudden fatigue, lightheaded or dizziness.
Signs of a Heart Attack in Women:
Uncomfortable pressure or squeezing in the center of chest lasting several minutes or goes away and returns again. Pain or discomfort in jaw, neck or back, one or both arms or stomach. Shortness of breath with or without the chest discomfort. Cold sweats, nausea, lightheadedness.
Many women do not experience the chest pain, instead they experience a shortness of breath and pain in the lower chest or diaphragm, dizziness, fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.
*This fatigue is not just a mere tiredness or exhaustion as one might experience it generally,
but as if they had just ran a marathon.
*Many women mistake a heart attack for the flu, acid reflux or aging!
To improve your health or reduce your risk of having a heart attack or another heart attack follow these guidelines:
* Avoid or quit smoking
* Control blood pressure & cholesterol levels
* Get regular check-ups
* Exercise a minimum of 150 minutes a week ( 30 minutes, 5 days a week)
* Maintain a healthy weight (use online calculators)
* Eat a Heart-healthy diet
~ Lean Meats/Proteins
~ Fresh Fruits and Vegetables 7-9 Servings Daily
~ Whole Grains
~ Avoid Saturated Fats, Trans-Fats & Cholesterol in Diet.
~ Limit Sodium
* Manage Diabetes
* Control Stress
* Limit Alcohol
* Take an Omega 3 Supplement!
A great online resource is www.heart.org. they offer healthy recipes and other healthy living tips. Take great care of your heart and it will take care of you!