If it were possible to guard yourself from heart disease and heart attack, would you? What is your WHY?

YOUR WHY

February is Heart Month. As the world is adorned with red hearts at every turn, the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement asks that you see a message in those hearts.

One in three of us is dying of heart disease!

Heart disease is now the #1 killer of women, more than all cancers combined.

But we have a choice. Heart disease is almost 80% preventable with lifestyle changes. We can take charge of our health, arming ourselves with vital information to prevent heart disease and cardiac events.

So WHY not go to the doctor to understand our hearts?

Dr. Jennifer Haythe says one reason is fear of body shaming.

Admit it. Who hasn’t thought about losing a few pounds before going to the doctor for a checkup?

Since no one wants to feel guilty about that extra weight we were advised to lose a year ago, women are actually putting off going to the doctor, or worse, not going all!

So, it’s time to change our WHY, from why we’re not to why we are!

WHY care enough to take charge of your heart health? Whom or what inspires you to be proactive to arm yourself with information and motivate you to action so you can beat the odds?

Go Red for Women movement gives us what we need to know to prevent heart disease.

It’s time to Go Red. Find your WHY.

Start now to:

Know your numbers. According to Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Oz, in his Today Show interview, the most vital predictors of a cardiac event can be changed.

The numbers to know should read:

  1. Blood pressure, 120/80 or under
  2. Fasting blood sugar, (which acts like glass shrapnel on the lining of  arteries) under 100
  3. Cholesterol, LDL under 100 and HDL over 80
  4. Waist circumference

Take your height in inches and divide by 2. Your waist measurement should be under that number.

He wants us all to learn the TEXAS 2 STEP, referring to the 2 most important things to do if you suspect someone is having a heart attack: call 911 and begin hands on CPR.

Listen to your body

“Men and women alike can experience the well-known heart attack symptoms, like gripping chest pains and breaking out in a cold sweat. Women can also have subtler, less recognizable symptoms – such as pain or discomfort in the stomach, jaw, neck or back, nausea and shortness of breath,” states the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women. Therefore, women are less likely to go to the emergency room or even worse, be misdiagnosed by a health care provider. Take no chances; even if unsure, insist your heart be checked.

Exercise

No longer an option for good heart health, exercise is proven to reduce stress and boost mood and mental health. AHA recommends no less than 150 minutes a week. Investing just 30 minutes a day to move can help save your life.

Eat Heart Happy Foods

Phytonutrients, antioxidants, minerals, fiber, vitamins. You know the buzz words by now. Make it easy by eating the rainbow! Fresh, colorful super-fruits and super-foods, vegetables, salmon, avocado, adding dark cocoa for fun. For more healthy heart choices, check out the top ten FOODS OUR HEART WILL LOVE by Judith Fertig.

Stop Smoking

Your lungs, your arteries, and your family will thank you.

Join the movement and begin the conversation with women you love to find their WHY.

My MOM is WHY

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About The Author

Debbie Slade Smith

Debbie Slade Smith is certified in Fitness for Midlife Women through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. She is a wellness advocate, educator, speaker, co-author, wife, and mom. She began her wellness journey in her late 50's after losing her mom to heart disease. She teaches Zumba and other group fitness classes and was chosen for the first national team of REAL WOMEN OF GO RED, the American Heart Association's initiative to empower women to take charge of their health.