National Wear Red Day
Maybe you made it your new year’s resolution to focus on your health & fitness– maybe you didn’t. Regardless if you vowed to make your exercise and nutrition habits a priority in 2016, February is here to remind us all of what is often known as the “silent killer”: heart disease. February is National Heart Month, and we want YOU to be informed and ready to participate.
Fortunately, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women to “empower women to take charge of their heart health”. Their website, www.GoRedForWomen.com provides women with vital information, support, and ways to get involved. Throughout the month, we’re going to be learning about heart health tips, myths, statistics, and more to share with you.
Why should you care? Heart health is easy to overlook, as we often associate heart disease with old age mostly plaguing men. However, according the the American Heart Association, heart disease is killing 500,000 women each year. That’s 1 in 3 women. Heart disease needs the attention of ALL women, regardless of age. Today, we’re going to start by simply defining what heart disease is.
What Is Heart Disease?
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is a wide range of conditions that affect the heart and is typically linked to what is called atherosclerosis (when plaque builds up on the walls of the arteries). The build up of this plaque can cause blood clots and can lead to heart attack or stroke. Other conditions that fall under this definition are blood vessel diseases, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects), among others.
How Does This Affect You?
Heart disease affects women differently than it affects men. Most women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms. Because symptoms for men and women differ greatly, they’re often misunderstood. The media has misconstrued women to believe that the cardinal sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. In reality, women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain, more so than chest pain.
To reach your greatest potential, focusing on your health is essential. For more information on heart disease and ways to prevent it, keep an eye on our website and social media accounts throughout the month of February.