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Cardiovascular Health | Let the Beat Go On

Your heart, this fist-sized muscle that sits to the left of your breastbone between your lungs, registers your happiness and heartbreak, and is also responsible for getting you to the end of your workout. It beats 24/7 and pumps blood throughout your body daily. The sad truth is that not many people are aware if the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. It may not turn heads at the beach, but your heart is the main muscle you’ve got to keep in shape.

Thousands of people succumb to heart disease each year. And it’s because they choose to ignore the symptoms. Women, in particular, are less likely to consult a physician for preventive intervention or illness because they prioritize their husband and children. Although men are more likely to suffer heart attacks, women are twice as likely to die within a year of having one, often because they fail to recognize the symptoms and don’t call 911 until it’s too late. Threats to your heart’s health, like high blood pressure and diabetes, are affecting more and more women. A large proportion still has at least one of the risk factors for heart disease, namely obesity, high cholesterol levels, smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and hypertension.

Here’s the stinger: one risk factor doubles a woman’s chance of developing heart disease, but having more than two factors increases the risk fourfold. Like the bullies you see in school, the risks tend to gang up and worsen each other’s effects. The typical symptoms most of you associate with heart problems, such as pains down the arm and crushing chest pain, aren’t necessarily what women feel in the throes of a heart attack. Sometimes, there are no warning signs. If there are, you often attribute them to other conditions, like tiredness, back pain, indigestion, or menopause.

To stave off your chances, never avoid these small and big signs. If you’re experiencing upper body discomfort, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, indigestion, and sleeplessness, be more careful about what you do. See your doctor immediately and have yourself checked. If you’re more tired than usual and can’t fathom why, this could already be a sign. If your heart isn’t pumping properly, glucose and oxygen won’t spread throughout the body. This could literally drain you of your usual amount of energy.

While you’re still okay, it’s time to change your lifestyle. Your body always reveals the way you live your life. It’s common for people to experience heart palpitations, especially when they don’t eat properly. It’s high time that you give up the bad habits so you’ll see your heart beat better. The next time you feel so tempted to take a bit at that juicy burger or that creamy apple pie, ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Sometimes, you’re just pushed to buy food because it looks appetizing, not because your stomach needs it. And when you order, it helps to take small servings. Instead of going all out, buy in smaller portions. As much as possible, try to avoid buffets. Eating is not all about how much is on your plate, but how you enjoy your meals without the feelings of guilt afterward. Plus, it never hurts to exercise.

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Updated: February 16, 2014 — 7:32 am

Site Disclaimer: This site is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services.
If you feel that you have a health problem, you should seek the advice of your Physician or health care Practitioner.

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