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Hearts Are Hanging In There

Thu, February 17, 2011

Since February is American Heart month it’s a good time to think about a disease that kills more than 600,000 Americans each year.  To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women {that’s right WOMEN}, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

The Go Red campaign offers 28 quick tips to improve your heart health this month…

1. Stop drinking your calories. Put down those sugary sodas, and grab a glass of water instead. Drinking eight glasses of water every day will do a world of good for your waistline — and your heart.

2. Know your family history. Many factors that contribute to heart disease are hereditary.

3. Get moving. Exercising 30 minutes every day will lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent.

4. Have your cholesterol checked. Too much cholesterol in your body is a major risk factor for heart disease. Starting at age 20, you should get your cholesterol checked every five years.

5. It really is your hormones. If you take hormone therapy for the treatment of menopause, discuss your risk of heart attack and stroke with your physician.

6. Relax. Women who have too much stress may be at greater risk for heart disease.

7. Know your risk for diabetes. About 75 percent of women with diabetes die of some type of cardiovascular disease. Have your blood sugar checked to see where you stand.

8. Check your blood pressure. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease.

9. Cut back on salt. Reducing your sodium intake can help keep your blood pressure under control.

10. Quit smoking. If you’re a woman and a smoker, you are two to six times more likely to develop heart disease than non-smokers.

11. Get some sleep. Research has shown sleep deprivation is linked to blood pressure problems, depression and other factors that increase the risk of heart disease.

12. Grab a pomegranate. Pomegranate juice helps keep heart cells healthy by increasing nitric oxide production, which helps increase blood flow.

13. Take your medicine. Take all medications you’ve been prescribed, and take them correctly. Talk with your doctor if you have concerns.

14. Choose Romaine, not iceberg. When you’re having a salad, Romaine lettuce offers twice the fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, calcium and potassium and seven times the vitamins A and C of iceberg.

15. Have a sweet potato for your side dish. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A and potassium.

16. Switch to skim milk. You get all the health benefits without the fat found in whole milk.

17. Manage your portion sizes. Keeping your weight in check is one of the best things you can do for your heart.

18. Turn off the TV. If you can’t find time to exercise, eliminate just one 30-minute show a day. Use those 30 minutes to get off the couch and get moving for your heart.

19. Choose whole grains. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and help lower your cholesterol.

20. Eat fish. Salmon and herring contain omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease your risk of heart disease.

21. Take the stairs, not the elevator. The more physically active you are, the healthier your heart will be.

22. Choose baked, not fried. Oven-roasted potatoes coated in olive oil are a great alternative to French fries, and baked chicken is delicious and heart-healthy.

23. Have some cranberry juice. In addition to being good for your heart, cranberries can help prevent urinary tract infections.

24. Keep a heart-healthy journal. Make notes on your progress toward a more healthy heart. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can Go Red and improve your life.

25. Go for a walk. Regular walking can help you manage your weight, improve your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and more.

26. Watch your waistline. Too much body fat, especially around your middle, increases your risk of heart disease. Apple-shaped women with extra fat at the waistline may have a higher risk than pear-shaped women with heavy hips and thighs.

27. Sip some tea. Research has shown that green, black and oolong teas can help increase your good cholesterol and block your bad cholesterol.

28. Remind yourself you’re worth it. Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important things you can do for yourself — and the ones you love.

So true…  let’s try to stay heart healthy this month and all year long!  I heart you guys!!


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