Ladies, Take Heart - (Stacia Naquin)

By: Stacia Naquin
By: Stacia Naquin

In honor of Valentine's Day, it's time to start thinking about your heart. That means YOU, ladies!


Valentine’s Day… it’s all about love and mushy stuff, right?
In honor of love and mushy stuff, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on our hearts. It is, after all, heart month. And we need our hearts for all things fitness related!
And so very often, heart health topics focus on men. But it’s an important issue for women as well.
“Women actually have the same incidence of heart attacks as men,” says Dr. Deborah Jalowiec, a cardiologist with Penrose St. Francis in Colorado Springs.
The same incidence, folks!! That’s scary stuff. So it’s time we, as women, take extra care of hearts. And we need to watch out for each other too. I don’t know about you, but there are some pretty fabulous women in my life who I’d like to see healthy for a long, long time.
So here’s some of what I learned from an interview with Dr. Jalowiec recently. This is information that really hit home for me.
The first thing… when I think of heart disease (even in women) I think of it being a concern as we get older. But it affects the younger generation of women in our midst as well… our kids, little sisters, nieces, friends, etc. We MUST MUST MUST get them to put down the cigarettes for GOOD!
“Smoking only 2 cigarettes a day doubles a young woman’s chance of having a heart attack,” said Dr. Jalowiec.
2 cigarettes a day. That’s it. That blew my mind. I had to put it on twitter and facebook and now this blog. Tell everyone you know. Cigarettes (even 2 in a day) are not harmless. They’re doing damage.
The next thing that’s important to mention is the list of symptoms of heart disease. Let’s face it. We’re power women!! We can do it all!! And that includes caring for all the people in our lives. But sometimes all that focus on others takes away the focus from things that may be going on with us and our bodies.
The Mayo Clinic lists these symptoms for heart attacks in women: discomfort in your neck, shoulders or upper back, shortness of breath, sweating, lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.
When I look at that list… most of the symptoms wouldn’t immediately make me think heart attack. They’d make me think – rough day! But we need to be aware that they could signal that something is wrong with our heart. And you definitely should think – I’m a woman. It can’t be a heart attack.  
“If you have symptoms, you can’t say ‘well, I’m a woman. This doesn’t happen to me,” said Dr. Jalowiec. “It can happen to a woman just as frequently as it happens to men.”
So for this Valentine’s Day – let’s vow to take heart… and take care of our hearts. It’s good advice for both men AND women.
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