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Do I Have a Healthy Heart?

Guest Author - Helen V. Calalang-Javier, MSN, RNC, IBCLC

February is usually associated with Valentines’ Day for lovers and more recently the month to celebrate healthy heart awareness for women. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute launched “The Heart Truth” campaign to provide important information about women and heart disease. Women of all ages must expand their knowledge in preventing heart disease. The national statistics show that the number one killer of women in the United States is heart disease;that is, one out of four women will be affected. It is also important to identify risk behaviors early in life that are associated with this fatal or debilitating disease.

Educating the public does not start with older women alone; it must start from a young age. As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” Information on maintaining a healthy heart and lifestyle must be shared with children so that they can be aware and understand the risk behaviors that can lead to developing heart disease in the future. Children of all ages can benefit from learning the value of eating a balanced diet and participating in regular physical activity and exercising to maintain an ideal weight. Educating them on the effects of smoking cigarette, second- hand smoke, and using illegal drugs as factors that increase their risk for heart conditions, can never be overstessed. Also teaching children relaxation techniques and breathing techniques so that they can learn to cope with stressful situations may seem a simple thing but something that goes far in them learning healthy habits to further reduce their risk factors.

It is never too late to identify the risk factors and learn how to overcome them. The important thing is that one has to be aware of these risk factors and make the decision to change to a healthy lifestyle before it is too late.

Here are some heart tips:
  • Maintain regular check-up with your doctor.

  • Maintain an ideal weight. It you are overweight, consider losing some of the pounds. Learn more on the about ideal weight and body mass index, visit related link

  • Learn relaxation techniques and reduce stress.

  • Maintain an ideal blood pressure. Hypertension can lead to heart disease and stroke. There are some ways to maintain an ideal blood pressure and cholesterol that are all interrelated with overweight and your lifestyle. Visit the related links on information about heart disease and stroke and consider Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) meal plan.

  • Eat balance diet and watch your portions. Add meal fruits and vegetables to your meals, these are good source of vitamins and minerals. Visit link on DASH Diet and Eating Plan

  • Drink plenty of water. Most carbonated beverages are high in sugar; it will be helpful to read what is written in product labels before making your choice.

  • Exercise thirty minutes most days of the week. Walking is best to maintain physical activity. Why not start using the stairs instead the elevator if you can. Visit link on Benefits of Physical Activity

  • To learn more about the “The Heart Truth” campaign, visit links below.



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    Content copyright © 2014 by Helen V. Calalang-Javier, MSN, RNC, IBCLC. All rights reserved.
    This content was written by Helen V. Calalang-Javier, MSN, RNC, IBCLC. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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