Some say it’s the color of passion. Others say it’s the color of love. In Feng Shui, it means energy and faith. For the ancient Romans, it was a signal for battle. That sounds like a great reason to Go Red this Friday. That’s because, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), “More women die of cardiovascular disease than from the next four causes of death combined.” And folks, that includes all forms of cancer. Sounds like a battle to me!
So, this Friday, October 28th, you’ll notice the 11 News crew wearing red. We’re acknowledging the Go Red For Women Luncheon happening downtown at the Antlers Hilton hotel. I’ll be there. This is SUCH an important issue!
Heart disease is not just an issue for the men in our lives. It affects women too (as evidenced by the AHA stat above). So us girls have to watch out for each other – and take care of ourselves too! But it can be a challenge, because heart disease can present differently in women.
Take heart attacks for example. It’s not always chest pain! In fact, according to the AHA, women are more likely than men to experience of the other symptoms of a heart attack: shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. We can’t dismiss symptoms like these!
What IS the same with heart disease in men and women is the way to PREVENT it. And that happens in three ways: diet, exercise and being aware of your risk factors.
I talked with Dr. Tom Bartlett with Mountain View Medical Group earlier this week about all three of these prevention tools in the fight against heart disease. He said, when it comes to heart health, you should follow a Mediterranean diet! As he said, it concentrates on fresh fruit and veggies, along with lean protein like fish, chicken breast and turkey. And you may be asking – where’s the beef? Dr. B. says we should limit our beef intake to just twice a month. That’s it.
And we ALL know we should be moving our bodies! We talk about that in this blog all the time! It can be as simple as taking your dog for a walk. Or it can be serious training, like for a marathon. The point is to stay active and not become a couch potato. That’s no good for your heart!
Then as far as your risk factors, Dr. Bartlett says it’s about controlling diabetes and hypertension, as well as known your cholesterol numbers. But smoking is also a risk factor! So, it’s best to kick the habit. And make sure you see your healthcare provider for regular checkups. It’s all part of keeping your risk factors in check!
It sounds like a lot to be aware of, but it’s ALL so important. So maybe just start with something simple. Like wearing red with us on Friday! Remember, we’re in a battle for our hearts! And the more people we can get to join the fight, the better show we’ll have at winning this fight!