February..Heart Awareness Month ‘GOING RED FOR WOMEN’ MEN too Listen Up! 2016
Heart Attacks are a leading cause of death. Every 43 seconds or about 735,0000 Americans in the United States has a heart attack. Heart disease is preventable with regular exams, healthy eating and exercise. Developing heart disease can be hereditary, but knowing your family history can impact your treatment plan with your doctor.
A heart attack occurs when a part of the muscle of the heart is damaged or dies because of blood flow which is reduced or completely blocked.
Five of the major symptoms are:
- Pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw or back, excessive sweating.
- Feeling light-headed, faint or weak.
- Chest pain or discomfort.
- Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder.
- Shortness of breath.
Other symptoms include unusual tiredness, nausea or vomiting.
What to do if you or someone you notice are having symptoms?
CALL 9-1-1 Immediately!
The sooner an individual gets to the emergency room the sooner one will receive appropriate treatment. Tests can be quickly run to make a determination if a heart attack is occurring. In some cases, CPR or defibrillation is needed. Medical personnel or a trained individual can begin this process immediately while waiting for emergency assistance.
Heart muscles require oxygen to survive. When the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off heart attacks occur. The heart coronary arteries that supply the heart muscle with blood flow can slowly become narrow from a buildup of fat, cholesterol and other substances that together are called plaque. This is known as atherosclerosis. A blood clot forms around the plaque. When this occurs it is called ischemia. The outcome is a heart attack or myocardial infarction (MI).
Why didn’t I have any warning?
Atherosclerosis has no symptoms. This happens when other arteries near the narrowing one takes over the blood supply. This damage to the heart muscle can form scar tissue. The heart is a very tough organ. If it is damaged, it can become weaker and cannot pump as much blood as usual.
Will I recover from a Heart Attack?
The answer is “most likely..yes”. The heart begins to heal after an attack and usually takes about eight weeks. This time is determined by the extent of damage, size and location of the scar tissue. Most heart attack survivors have some degree of coronary artery disease (CAD).
What can I do to Prevent Heart Attacks?
Begin by assessing your risk factors and working to keep them low.
Eight Lifestyle Changes:
- Stop of Do Not Smoke.
- Eat a Healthy Diet. Control cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and overweight.
- Reduce Blood Cholesterol. Have your HDL and LDL checked by your doctor.
- Lower High Blood Pressure. Strokes are less likely with a lower blood pressure.
- Be Physically Active on a daily basis. Suggested 40 minutes 3-4 sessions a week.
- Healthy Weight. Good nutrition, controlling calorie intake and be physically active.
- Reduce Stress. Learn to relax. Yoga, mindfulness and remaining calm will help.
- Limit Alcohol. Limit drinking which can raise blood pressure and contribute to high triglycerides and produce irregular heart heartbeats. A few glasses of red wine has been shown to be healthy.
WHO IS SUSCEPTABLE?
Women and Men DO HAVE different symptoms. One out of three women are at a high risk of heart attack. Check with your doctor and have any blood tests recommended. Be Pro-Active is your approach. Do Not wait until a pain begins. Start early in your life with a healthy lifestyle.
WORK for a HEART HEALTHIER YOU!
January, 2016 has arrived and individuals are deciding what type of exercise fitness program they would like to participate in. You notice I said “deciding”. The options are mind-blowing.
Question is…What is your level of motivation? At the beginning of the year, it can range from 0 to 110 percent. We all know we ‘should’ and ‘need’ some form of exercise. But “What is Best for ME?” You need to decide WHAT type of program are you willing to Start and Continue with? A Fitness Gym will cost you money and will you continue ‘going to the gym’ on a regular basis or will you happen to be one of the people who purchase the membership and after a (week, month) just discontinue going. Why? Work schedule, family responsibilities, traffic, errands and a number of other situations.
Where to join is the next step. The YMCA, Fitness Centers, Health Clubs, Gyms and Specialized Class Centers are possibilities. Determine ‘what’ type of exercise or fitness regime you want to participate in. A recommendation would be to Google a site such as www.sparkpeople to view articles and videos and fitness communities. Find a location located on your drive home or in your neighboring area. Once home, it may be difficult to leave again. Keep all necessary workout clothing in your car in a carry bag.
Other options are the numerous videos, television shows (which can be taped) for at home workouts or classes at area schools, churches or social clubs. Decide if you want low impact or high impact exercises. What type of equipment will be required. Most places have a day pass to try out their facility. Take advantage of a free cycling class, weight training or yoga. Find a place where you feel ‘comfortable’ and know you will return on a frequent basis. Check out their payment schedule and any fees involved.
Why exercise? There are hundreds of reasons, foremost the effect it will have on your health. Exercise helps you become stronger, confident, goal orientated, helps prevent diabetes, heart conditions, cancer risks, reduces back pain, lifts your mood, sets an example for your children and in the long run will have you looking more fit and happier. Who doesn’t want to fit into a smaller size when in a dressing room!
So, find a friend to join you or confidently walk inside to the reception desk and start asking questions and take a tour of the facility.