Have you experienced bouts of chest pain but pass it off as stress? Do you feel tired or have episodes of blurry vision? Do you put off going to your doctor due to your busy schedule? If you answered yes to any of these questions you need to take action right away.

February is American Heart Month and it's time to take stock of your heart health. Heart disease is called the silent killer and for good reason; it is the number one killer of women! Even though signs of heart disease may not be immediately obvious, it doesn't mean that everything is okay.

In fact, there may be symptoms of heart disease, but if you're like me and other busy women, it's easy to shrug it off, suck it up, pop a Motrin, and keep moving. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the direct and indirect costs to care for people with heart disease is estimated at $190 billion (yes, billion)!   

As you age, your risk for heart disease increases dramatically. Here are my tips for making your heart health a priority:

Don't wait until a life event such as a heart attack turns your world upside down. Heart attacks don’t just affect seniors; you can be at-risk in your 40's. See your doctor today for a physical and baseline blood pressure reading.

Purchase a home blood pressure monitor and track your blood pressure readings. Keep your loghandy especially when you see your doctor.

Exercise daily and get your heart pumping. There’s no question about  - working out and breaking a sweat are good for your heart health! This tip isn’t optional tip – you have to move to get and keep a healthy heart. 

Check your medications. There may be some medications that can cause hypertension. For example, taking birth control pills after the age of 35 may increase your blood pressure. Check with your doctor and pharmacist to look at the role your medications may have on your blood pressure.

Become a sodium expert. There’s so much focus on calories, carbs, and protein but unfortunately sodium is a secret culprit. Avoid eating out more than two times per week and monitor your salt intake. The new guideline for sodium intake from the American Heart Association is 1500 milligrams per day! Need I say more?

Need some help with heart healthy workouts? Try one of my favorite fit heart moves. Let me know how you and your heart feel afterwards!  

Post a Comment