Heart disease is the number one killer of women in America. According to www.GoRedforWomen.com, with one in three women dying each year; it’s deadlier than any form of cancer.
That’s approximately one woman per minute, or more than 500,000 lives silenced per year. To kick off the first week of February, which is American Heart Month, from now until Feb. 28 America will join the go red movement to keep hearts beating and prevent further deaths. The question is what length will you go to save your heart?
Becoming more knowledgeable of your risk as well as your family history early on is the first step of prevention because heart disease knows no age nor does it pick and choose. If your family has a history of health issues like diabetes or obesity, then that should be taken into consideration because you might also be affected. Whether you are health conscious and physically fit or your idea of a workout is reaching for the remote, you can still be diagnosed.
The disease also targets women of African-American and Hispanic heritage. Hispanic women are more likely to develop heart disease ten years earlier than non-Hispanics, and one in three are aware that it’s their number one killer. In regards to African-American women 20 years of age and older, 49 percent have heart disease and cardiovascular diseases that kill close to 20,000 annually. They’re also less likely than Caucasian women to be aware of its severity.
The partnership between you and your heart is all about give and take: give the heart tender love and care, and you’ll have longevity. Become aware of daily actions and make an effort to change for the sake of your health. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, go for regular check-ups, strive for more balance and most importantly, stay active.
A defense against heart disease is good nutrition, which some of us strike out in since the campus has scarce healthy restaurants.
Fighting temptations of a double cheeseburger and instead setting better nutritional goals and making consistent changes to eating habits can be beneficial to your overall well-being.
Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh fish (particularly oily fish like salmon; two 3.5 ounce servings), three one-ounce servings of fiber rich whole grains and unsalted nuts and seeds. While tackling eating out, avoid fried foods and instead opt for baked, grilled or broiled, and the more colorful the plate, the better.
• Go to restaurants prepared: view the online menu with the nutritional information so you feel less pressure to choose unhealthy meals.
• Portion control: smaller serving sizes—avoid anything with the words “double” or “extra.”
• Avoid high fat toppings like ranch dressing, try lower calorie toppings like Italian or salsa.
• Kick your soda habit and consume more water, milk, tea or fresh blended fruit.
Exercise in combination with improved nutrition will help prevent heart disease. Sixty-five percent of American adults are overweight and according to a study in Nutrition Journal, one in four college students gain at least ten pounds in their first semester. Here’s a reminder of why exercise should be welcomed with opened arms:
• Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
• Improves blood circulation and cholesterol levels
• Keeps weight in control
• Helps manage stress and boost energy levels
Whether you’re a woman in your 20s or 60s, make the effort, know the risk and shine a light on an issue that can save millions of other women. Because of the garnered support over the past ten years with the American Heart Association, the amount of women dying from heart disease has reduced by 21 percent. Whatever you do from here on, your heart depends on it.
“You change your life by changing your heart.” —Anonymous
To learn more about health disease go to www.GoRedForWomen.org or www.Heart.org.
“m b v” as anything but a highly anticipated train ...