February is National Heart Awareness Month!
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States today? If you do, you’re among only the 56% of the women that recognize this fact. Yes, even with the Go for Red campaigns, American Heart Association efforts and many others, there is still a huge lack of knowledge regarding heart disease in the United States today.
In 2020, approximately 315,000 women died because of heart disease, or about 1 in every 5 female deaths, representing the leading cause of death for women in the United States.
As a woman, your symptoms of heart disease may not be well recognized. In fact, many ER visits of women who are experiencing heart attacks are misdiagnosed and mistaken for overexertion, stress, indigestion or the flu. This is one of the reasons why younger women are twice as likely to die after being hospitalized for a heart attack. Women need to understand this and need to fight harder to get proper treatment.
That is why, at Amazing Over 40, we are here to empower you with knowledge to help you, your family and loved ones - possibly saving someone’s life!
Let’s first start with defining heart disease. Heart disease refers to several types of heart conditions, including coronary artery disease, heart attack and heart failure. It used to be referred to as a “man’s disease” but as you can see, this is no longer true.
Do you know the symptoms for a heart attack?
Most of us hear the main symptoms of a heart attack to be “an elephant on the chest with pain radiating to the left shoulder.” This is true for men- but not for women!
For women, the most common symptoms for a heart attack are:
- Pain in the upper abdomen or back – this can be confused with heartburn or indigestion, also known as gastric reflux disease, or GERD.
- Pain in the neck, jaw or throat.
- Dull and heavy or sharp chest pain – also known as angina.
- Nausea and Vomiting.
- Shortness of breath.
These symptoms can occur when you’re sitting reading a book or doing regular daily activities. Of course, many of us may experience these symptoms for a short period of time – I don’t want all of you thinking you’re having a heart attack. But, if your symptoms persist and become more acute, please seek help sooner than later.
What are the risk factors for developing heart disease?
The 3 key risk factors for heart disease are high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and smoking. Approximately ½ of Americans ( 47%) have at least one of these risk factors.
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices severely increase your risk including:
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
By following simple lifestyle guidelines, you can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 80%! Yes, you can!
5 tips to reduce heart disease;
- Eat a healthy diet - I recommend the Mediterranean diet, as it is easy to follow and also very delicious!
- Exercise at least 30-45 minutes 3-4 x/ week.
- Limit your alcohol intake to 1 glass/ day.
- Keep a healthy weight - by adding weight lifting into your exercise regimen, you will build more muscle and burn more calories!
- Decrease your stress level. Yes, stress can lead to heart disease. Yoga, meditation and simple breathing exercises can help.
Please share this incredibly valuable information with your friends and family.
You may very well not only save your life, but also someone else’s!
P.S. Looking for an amazing and delicious Italian soup steeped in the Mediterranean diet? Check out my recent blog post, Cozy, Classic & Authentic Italian Minestrone Soup by La Bella Vita Cucina.
- In health and happiness
Kathie, awesome! I’m so glad you love the cards :) Thank you for sharing!
I love the cards with all of the positive thoughts. I like repeating them to myself but also I’m trying to pass these on to family…and friends
Super!!! Thanks so much