February is American Heart Month, and what better of a day to discuss hearts than Valentine’s Day? To all women… how is your heart?

Many might think of Heart Disease as a “man’s disease”, but it is actually the number one killer of women in the US. One out of every three women will die of heart disease, that’s even higher than deaths caused by breast cancer (American Heart Association (AHA), 2020).

Harsh statistics… What can you do?

Heart disease is unlike many diseases as it is generally preventable with a few lifestyle adjustments and very doable proactive steps. While genetics may play a role in your susceptibility and risk factor of developing heart disease, your lifestyle likely plays an even bigger role.

Heart disease causes damage to your blood vessels and cardiovascular system. It is marked by atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque along the walls of your arteries impeding blood flow (AHA, 2020). Heart disease, when left undetected and untreated, can lead to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. These medical events can be life-threatening and cause serious damage to all systems and components of the body.

Now for the good news… You can help make sure that this risk NEVER becomes your reality.

The first step to preventing heart disease is to eat healthy. Cholesterol, sodium, and other substances have a direct influence on the health of your heart, so be sure to eat healthy snacks and meals that provide your body with needed nutrients and minimize unhealthy sugars or fats.

The next step is to exercise regularly. Staying active promotes healthy blood flow and, therefore, a healthy heart! Plus eating healthy and staying active can help individuals to lose weight, which is another step in preventing heart disease.

A few other lifestyle changes that can help you prevent the onset of heart disease are (AHA, 2020):
No smoking
Know your family history and get regular check-ups
Monitor your blood sugar
Keep your blood pressure under control

While heart disease may be a real risk, you have the power to safeguard the future health of your heart! Be proactive and Go Red this February!

To find out more information about Go Red, heart disease, and prevention efforts visit: https://www.goredforwomen.org/