By Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA
Heart disease in women is a big deal. The number one killer of women is heart disease. In the United States, 1 in 4 women dies from heart disease.
This post addresses signs and symptoms of a heart attack in women, important numbers you ought to know, and ways to help reduce stress by focusing on you. #Take15Minutes each day for YOU.
Ladies, love your heart. It’s important to know your numbers, and spend time each day to focus on YOU. #Take15Mintues
Heart Attack Signs and Symptoms
1. Chest pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away or changes from its usual pattern (for example, occurs more often or while you’re resting)
2. Shortness of breath
3. Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
4. Breaking out in a cold sweat
5. Feeling unusually tired for no reason, sometimes for days (especially if you are a woman)
6. Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach) and vomiting
7. Light-headedness or sudden dizziness
Take Quick Action, It Can Save Your Life: Call 9–1–1 if you have any of these symptoms. If you think you are having a heart attack, don’t ignore it. Call 9-1-1 and the ambulance will take you to the hospital.
Desire These Numbers
1. Total Cholesterol: Below 200 mg/dL
2. LDL (Lousy or Bad) Cholesterol: Below 100 mg/dL
3. HDL (Good) Cholesterol: Above 60 mg/dL
4. Triglycerides: Below 150 mg/dL
5. Normal Blood Pressure: Less than 120/80 – (Upper #) less than 120 and Diastolic (Lower #) less than 80
6. BMI: Less than 24.9
7. Waist size: Less than 35 inches
If you have a BMI greater than 24.9 and a waist measurement greater than 35 inches, you’re at increased risk for CHD.
#Take15Minutes Each Day for YOU
Every day, schedule 15 minutes for just you. Spend this time alone without any distractions. Use this time to disconnect, clear your mind and enjoy the stillness. Here are some examples to get you started.
1. Focus on your breathing -“As you inhale, try saying this phrase to yourself: “Breathing in peace and calm.” And as you exhale, say: “Breathing out tension and anxiety.” When you first start, aim for 10 minutes of deep breathing. Gradually add time until your sessions are 15- to 20-minutes long.”
2. Go for a walk – Go for a mindful walk. Discover nature, observe the outdoor beauty or walk indoors at your mall. Remember, beauty is right in front of us.
3. Read a book – Find a reading nook and read your favorite novel or how-to book. Goodreads is a great place to discover new books.
4. Listen to music – Listen to your favorite soothing joyful music can help reduce stress and decrease blood pressure and anxiety.
5. Shake it out and dance – Dancing can help reduce stress and build memory.
6. Flip through the pages of your favorite magazine. Find inspiration, and keep flipping.
7. Take a warm bath. Light a candle, put on soothing music. Don’t let your mind wonder thinking about your endless to-list. Instead, focus on the stillness and breathe. (Don’t forget to blow out the candle when you’re done!)
8. Take out your guitar, violin or flute (or any other instrument) you have hiding in your closet and begin to play it.
How do you like to spend your 15 minutes each day? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below and on Facebook.
Sources and for more information on heart disease in women
American Heart Association
National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
WomensHealth.Gov – Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
American Heart Association – Go Red for Women
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