Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Heart Day

February is Heart Disease awareness month and the American Heart Association advocates awareness for women’s heart health through research and education and for good reason. Did you know that Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year? (Heart Disease). Did you also know that the symptoms are different for women than they are men? Heart Disease affects the blood vessels and cardiovascular system and can take on many forms including atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arterial walls), Heart failure, abnormal rhythms of the heart (Arrhythmia), and problems involving the hearts valves. There are several factors that can put you at risk for Heart Disease, some you can control and some you cannot but with proper care and education, heart disease can be prevented and treated. Here are ways you can take control of your heart health:

  • Know your family history- It is true we cannot pick family but we can take charge and know if risk factors exist among them. The risk of heart disease is strongly related to our family history. For example, if your family member has had a heart attack, you are more likely to have a heart attack.
  • Do not smoke! Smoking dramatically increases your risk for Atherosclerosis, damaging your blood vessels and increases your risk for clotting. Also, the Carbon monoxide and tobacco rob your heart, arteries and brain of oxygen.
  • Get your blood pressure checked- The normal numbers for a healthy individual are 120/80. When you have high blood pressure it forces your heart to work harder and can damage your arteries, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke.
  • Lower your Cholesterol- Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like material that is found in your blood. Over time, cholesterol can build up and harden, forming plaque which in turn can narrow the artery walls and reduce the amount of blood flow through them. There are two types of cholesterol, LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein aka the BAD TYPE) and HDL (High-density Lipoprotein aka GOOD TYPE). A healthy total cholesterol reading is less than 200 mg/dL. There are no symptoms with high cholesterol, even more reason to get your levels checked!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share how to keep your heart healthy and now how to make it happy! I am THAT girl who wakes up early to make goodies for the special men in my life. I was up at 4:30 am baking cookies for my brother and husband.  I have been dying to try these cookies and what better reason than today?

*picture from

Take Care of YOU!


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