Unfortunately, many think cardiovascular health, heart attacks, or anything related to the heart are men-problems. However, numerous studies and have shown that heart health is NOT just a “guy thing” at all. Women need to be concerned about their cardiovascular health as well. In fact, some sources say that heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States!
This is a VERY dear subject to me, because I lost my mom suddenly to a massive heart attack. She was what many thought one of the healthiest 64 year old Asian tiny, beautiful women around. No one thought she was over 43 years old…no one dared to tip the 44 or 45 year number, because she looked and sounded THAT young!
She fast walked a mile each day, whether it was raining, sleet, snow, or boiling hot. She ate incredibly healthy, natural…ALL the good stuff! She was what we all believed destined to live the long lives of her family, youngest grandfather as 83 years old. Most of our Asian family members died between 88 -98 years old…then, again, all back home. Anyways, one night…1 heart pain…she didn’t make it to the hospital.
The only blessings my family found from her death were these facts I discovered once I reached the hospital and talked to the surgeon:
1. Had she lived, she would’ve been a vegetable, because it was THAT massive a heart attack…and they were trying to revive her for nearly 20 minutes (upon Daddy’s hysterical disbelief)
2. It was her time. It was sudden and so massive, she took her last breathe mostly in peace. She did not suffer long prolonged hardship, pain or suffering like other diseases.
3. She lived a fulfilling life with her partner, Daddy. In the car ride to the hospital, she turned to Daddy saying “Pol, I love you.” Then, tilted her head back for her last breath.
As tears fill up my eyes, it’s best that we turn now to some interesting and typically unknown facts that should help you appreciate how important Heart Health is for Women.
Women’s Heart Health – What You Need To Know
Studies have shown that the use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Some sources share that in younger women, the risk is lower than in older women. So, if you are over the age of 35, it would behoove you to look into a different forms of birth control, if possible.
Who’s at risk? You may think you’re not at risk because you’re not overweight, or you don’t smoke, or you exercise regularly. This was exactly the case for my mom…
While having more than one risk factor certainly raises your risk, according to experts, having even one of the risk factors – such as smoking or being overweight – increases your risk of heart disease significantly. Here are some of the lifestyle choices that may raise your risk for developing heart disease:
* Inactivity or not enough exercise
* Poor diet, especially one high in saturated fat and low on fresh, whole foods
* Ethnicity (According to experts, African American and Hispanic women are at particular risk for heart disease)
* High blood pressure
* High cholesterol
[Interestingly, both sides of my otherwise healthy Asian family, have either high blood pressure or high cholesterol...or "controlled levels"]
Low Vitamin D
The more this vitamin gets researched, the more important it seems. Studies have shown that women over 30 with low levels of vitamin D were 25% more likely to die from cardiovascular disease. Getting plenty of safe sun exposure through smart sunbathing boosts vitamin D levels, as does taking oral supplements.
This is particularly important for Muslim women to take note, because of lack direct sun exposure since we dress modestly and cover most, if not all, our bodies with hijab. Research has shown that Muslims have low Vitamin D.
Time to Get Tested
Listed below are some specific tests that will provide important information about your risk of heart attack.
* Lipoprotein levels – Getting tested for your lipoprotein levels means you’re getting tested for cholesterol (both the “good” and “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides. The levels of these substances in your blood affect your risk for heart disease.
* Blood pressure – Getting your blood pressure taken can show you not only if you have hypertension, but also if you are at risk for developing it. Sources recommend getting your blood pressure checked at least every other year. Hey, with free tests at local pharmacies or grocery stores, when waiting for your next prescription, sit down and check…it’s a fun thing my girls always enjoy doing.
* BMI (Body Mass Index) – A BMI test helps determine your weight in relation to your height, as well as waist measurement. Tummy fat can raise your risk of heart disease, as can an imbalanced fat-to-height ratio. If you have a Wii Fit balance board, the Wii Fit Plus game shares your BMI. We do this often.
MOMentumNation Heart Health Month
Holly and the gang are hosting numerous Hearth Health Month activities; such as a Twitter party tomorrow, to 28-days of Heart Health Tips. Find out all the details here.
- Hypertension: For Woman Regular Exercise Is Extremely Important
- Walking To Boost Metabolism
- Oil Pulling with Olive Oil – Natural cure for many diseases
- 4 Self-Care Tips for Busy Moms
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Category: Green Home