February is not just for Valentine's Day. It is also American Heart Month. Heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined, yet most women are not aware of the symptoms. According to the American Heart Association, women can experience a heart attack without the chest pressure pain most men experience, here's their list of symptoms for women:
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
When you start talking about heart disease, cholesterol plays a big role. There's the "good" and the "bad" cholesterol who get the most media attention. By eating heart healthy foods like berries, beans, legumes, fish and oats you can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Heart disease is preventable by establishing healthy eating habits, not smoking, starting an exercise program and regular checkups with your doctor. A great tool is the Heart Attack Risk Calculator provided by the American Heart Association. The "risk calculator" goes through about 16 questions related to your cholesterol numbers, body weight, body height and a bit of family history to calculate a risk percentage.
For more information on how to live "Heart Healthy" visit Go Red for Women. They have great information on how to make a lifestyle change that can save your life.
If you are looking for more information, why not try one of these community events:
I have to admit, I eat healthy and exercise regularly. However, I do not know my cholesterol numbers. If you want to know your "numbers" you can donate blood through a blood donation center and receive your cholesterol numbers free of charge. You can also get a cholesterol screening by visiting the South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City. For a $30 fee, they offer cholesterol screenings every fourth Tuesday of the month from 2 to 3 pm. So, in the spirit of American Heart month, I will go and get a cholesterol screening next Tuesday. Join me in the Go Red for Women online movement today!
The people from www.getfitbook.com have given us a promo code (GORED14) to use on any of their products for a 14% discount. But better hurry, the offer ends on February 28, 2013.
Do you know your "numbers"?