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Join me in Going Red this Friday. I wear red to increase awareness about the dangers of heart disease and to honor my parents. Heart disease is very personal to me as I lost both my parents in their 50’s to this disease. Heart disease continues to be the number 1 killer of men and women in the United States.

Did you know that heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, yet it’s 80% preventable?

At your next meeting, family gathering or social event, look around you and count the number of women in the room. If there are 21 women in the room, 7 women will die from heart disease and stroke. When I think about an office where 6 women work, realizing that 2 women will die from heart disease and stroke is sobering. What about at our family holiday party where there are 15 women in our immediate family? 5 of us will die from heart disease. These numbers bring it home to many of us. 

What can you do to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke? These suggestions are not just for women, they are for men, too. The American Heart Association website shares tips to encourage all of us to be heart healthy:
Be Active – aim for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. This can help you lose weight as well as lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and other health problems. Talk with your health care professional about your activity level before beginning a program. Get their advice and get moving!
Manage your Weight – if you need to lose weight, set goals and begin this journey by adding more vegetables and fruits to your diet. Eating a diet high in fresh vegetables and fruits may help you achieve a healthy weight. Drink water, move more and eat those veggies.
Stop Smoking – if you are a smoker, make this your year! It is never too late to quit. Gather your support and make the change.
Know Your Numbers but Manage Your Risk – According to the American Heart Association, these are the ideal numbers for the general adult population:

Total Cholesterol – less than or equal to 180 mg/dL
Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than or equal to 25 kg/m2
Blood Pressure of less than 120/80 mm/Hg
Fasting Blood Sugar of less than or equal to 100 mg/dL

Show your commitment to living a healthier lifestyle by wearing Red this Friday. Visit  https://www.goredforwomen.org for more information on how you can begin to make positive lifestyle changes.

Do you like to cook? Want some new heart healthy recipes? Check out these heart healthy snacks: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/heart-healhty-snacks-and-eating-on-thego/heart-healthy-snacks-for-kids/
For fast family dinners, visit: https://www.goredforwomen.org/live-healthy/cooking-heart-healthy-for-the-family/fast-family-weeknight-meals/

This is why I will Go Red on Friday.

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Family Photo: Debbie Klinger, sister of author, Brandy Harris, niece of author, and Michelle Treber, author.  Monument photo: my parents monument.

Author: Michelle Treber, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County, Crossroads EERA, stefura.2@osu.edu

 

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Did you know that women are 6 times as likely to die of heart disease than of breast cancer? 

Heart diease kills more women over 65 than do all cancers combined. 

The symptoms of heart disease in women can be different and may trick the woman into thinking it is not serious.   These symptoms are not always as severe for women and we may ignore them.  You may have heard of a woman who had neck & shoulder pain that wouldn’t quit so she drove herself to the ER.   Women are more likely than men to have signs and sypmtoms unrelated to chest pain.  Heart Attack Symptoms for Women may include:

  • Neck, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Unusual fatigue

**** Remember to call 911 if you have syptoms.  It is better to be safe than sorry.  Do NOT drive yourself to the emergency room. 

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  • Eat a diet that’s low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol & salt
  • Eat more fruits & vegetables
  • Get regular health screenings including Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels
  • Exercise 30-60 minutes a day on most days of the week
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco products

If you are having any of the symptoms, discuss this with your doctor.  Even if you think they are mild, it is important to tell your doctor about your concerns. 

2011 is right around the corner— this is a great time to set a healthy living goal.  If you don’t know your cholesterol numbers, find out.  If you need a physical exam, now is the time to schedule the visit.  Set a goal to eat more fruits & veggies.  Start a physical activity you enjoy.  If you’ve always wanted to stop smoking, make 2011 the year. 

Remember that it is easiest to change one health habit at a time.  Give yourself time to adjust to the new habit and continue working to improve your lifestyle.  Make it fun and a family activity.  Everyone will benefit from a few simple changes.  Make today the beginning of a new journey as you start on the road to health!!

Source:  Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease

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