Category Archives: Heart Health

Heart Disease and Women

Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Get the facts and reduce your risk!  happyfitmama.com

As some of you may know, I work as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation. When I went into this profession, I had no real reason. My family does not have a strong history of heart disease. I just liked exercise, talking about exercise and counseling others on how to live a healthier life. Over the years, my reasons have changed. One of the big reasons are the people who become my patients that make me enjoy my job.

When someone has a heart event, often times they feel scared, alone and not sure of what the future holds for them. Cardiac Rehabilitation is a medically supervised program to help patients recover quickly and improve their overall physical, mental, and social functioning after an event. Essentially, it’s an exercise, education and support program to help patients learn how to live a healthier life. Research shows that patients who participate in Cardiac Rehab live longer and have a better quality of life than those that don’t.

I’ve seen a wide range of people who have been affected by heart disease whether it’s from Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG), Myocardial Infarction (MI), PCI/Stents, Stable Angina, Cardiomyopathy, or Valve Replacement/Repair. When I first entered the field 14+ years ago, most of my patients were at least 70 and older. While we still see older patients, we have also begun to see people in their 30s and 40s. The youngest patient I ever had was in her late 20s.  It was scary that she was actually younger than me!  And it’s not just here and there that we see younger patients. We recently had 8 patients out of 16 total who were 50 or younger. Most of them were otherwise healthy, exercised daily, ate “right” and were not overweight. The common link? All of them had a very strong family history of heart disease.

dayinthelife - happyfitmama.com

Unfortunately, you can not change your genetics. But that doesn’t mean you should start chain smoking, stop exercising and eat nothing but donuts and beer, either. Imagine if those patients of mine did not exercise, ate horribly day after day and were severely overweight? They most likely would not have survived their heart event.

So what risk factors can you control:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Manage your blood sugar
  • Get your blood pressure under control
  • Lower your cholesterol
  • Know your family history
  • Stay active
  • Lose weight if overweight
  • Eat healthy

Heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Stop for a second and reread the sentence above.  Did you get that? Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Most women fear breast cancer.  I know I do since my mom had breast cancer. Women routinely get their mammograms and do self checks each month.  But what about your heart?  Most women, especially younger women, think heart disease is something you don’t have to think about till you are at least 70.That’s not the case at all.

  • Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.
  • 90 percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease.
  • Since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease and the gap between men and women’s survival continues to widen.
  • The symptoms of heart disease can be different in women vs. men, and are often misunderstood.
  • While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.

Source: Go Red for Women

Go Red for Women Red Dress - happyfitmama.com

Media has conditioned us to believe that the telltale sign of a heart attack is extreme chest pain. But in reality, women are somewhat more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain. Other symptoms women should look out for are dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen and extreme fatigue.

Even if you’re a yoga-loving, marathon-running workout fiend, your risk for heart disease isn’t completely eliminated. Factors like cholesterol, eating habits and smoking can counterbalance your other healthy habits. You can be thin and have high cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends you start getting your cholesterol checked at age 20, or earlier, if your family has a history of heart disease. Also, keep an eye on your blood pressure. Both high cholesterol and high blood pressure have no symptoms.

#MNBChallenge | HappyFitMama.com

If you are already active, great!  Keep it up! Physical activity is something that is linked to all the controllable risk factors of heart disease(diabetes, overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, etc.).  Make time for exercise by scheduling it in like you would a doctor’s appointment. You are worth the time!

I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer with all of this information. Heart disease is scary and it’s real. It can happen to anyone. But with the proper nutrition, exercise, knowledge, and awareness throughout your life, you can find the key on how to love your heart and have it love you right back.
For more information about heart disease, please check out the following links:

Go Red For Women Campaign

American Heart Association

Did you know heart disease is the number one killer of women?

How are you reducing your risk factors for heart disease?

Cell-nique Detox Drinks

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cell-nique. All thoughts are my own.

At home juicing has become all the rage lately. I love to eat my veggies but I wonder if getting a little extra kick from juicing would help my health at all. The one thing that’s holding me back? The price tag of an at home juicer. Ouch! Of course, an alternative to making my own is to buy it from my local health food store freshly made or from a bottle.

Recently I was asked to sample Cell-nique Super Green. It’s a USDA organic drink that “energizes, detoxifies and nourishes your body” with the equivalent of 8 servings of fruits and vegetables in every bottle.

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/?ui=2&ik=3f7b82ace2&view=att&th=13f34b9f1a52f772&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=f_hhth49dg0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P_gWvrF6wTCR24mvboXn7Xf&sadet=1371340417096&sads=t2N13wI4hxkyg952lEz1qBjB1tk&sadssc=1

Cell-nique is vegan, gluten-free, and low-calorie (each bottle is less than 100 calories). All flavors of Cell-nique Super Green contain the same 31 organic super foods.  Most of the sugar count comes from the naturally occurring sugars in the fruits and vegetables, with a small amount of stevia and organic blue agave.

I was sent five flavors to try: Lemon Ginger, Citrus Vanilla, Pomegranate, Apple and Tropical Fruit. After reading the ingredient list on each, I knew that these were serious superfood drinks made with chlorella, blue-green algae, spirulina. They weren’t going to taste sweet and there would probably be a fishy smell. The taste of each flavor varied. Some of the flavors were good by themselves. The Citrus Vanilla was my favorite with a mild citrus flavor and subtle vanilla. It was hard to drink a whole bottle of any flavor at one time. I preferred sipping on it throughout the day. I also experimented a bit by making my usual morning smoothie with Cell-nique instead of coconut water.  I blended half a frozen banana and a little chocolate protein powder. The “green” smell was diminished and was really, really good!

Cell-nique Super Green - happyfitmama.comCell-nique is a great way to get your daily dose of superfoods and then some in one bottle. It’s a convenient way to get your green drink on-the-go when you may not have access to your home juicer.

If you are interested in trying Cell-nique for yourself, there’s a special offer going on right now if you buy online. Try your choice of any 1-3 bottles of Cell-nique now and get FREE SHIPPING! Redeem this offer at http://www.cell-nique.com/products/Try_Me-26-66.html

You can also find Cell-nique on Twitter  and Facebook.

Have you ever tried Cell-nique?

Do you like green drinks?

Blog Your Heart Out

Hi friends!

As some of you may know, I work as a Clinical Exercise Specialist in Cardiac Rehabilitation. When I went into this profession, I had no real reason. My family does not have a strong history of heart disease. I just liked exercise, talking about exercise and counseling others on how to live a healthier life. Over the years, my reasons have changed. One of the big reasons are the people who become my patients that make me enjoy my job.

Today I’m Blogging My Heart Out to raise awareness for this disease that has touched all of us at some point.

When someone has a heart event, often times they feel scared, alone and not sure of what the future holds for them. Cardiac Rehabilitation is medically supervised program to help patients recover quickly and improve their overall physical, mental, and social functioning after an event. Essentially, it’s an exercise, education and support program to help patients learn how to live a healthier life. Research shows that patients who participate in Cardiac Rehab live longer and have a better quality of life than those that don’t.

I’ve seen a wide range of people who have been affected by heart disease whether it’s from Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG), Myocardial Infarction (MI), Stable Angina, Cardiomyopathy, or Valve Replacement/Repair. When I first entered the field 10+ years ago, most of my patients were at least 70 and older. While we still see older patients, we have also begun to see people in their 30s and 40s. One thing that has not changed over the years, is the amount of women who attend Cardiac Rehab after their event.

Heart disease is the number killer of women.

Yet men are still the predominate participant in rehab. Why is that? There are numerous reasons why this might be. Physicians not referring, insurance coverage (or lack of), and being afraid to exercise. Statistics show that under 20% of those eligible ever go to rehab, and women and minorities go less often than white men. We need to promote cardiac rehab for everyone.

heart - happyfitmama.comSo what can you do to help your friends, family and community know that such a resource exists for people with heart disease or risk factors for heart disease? Spread the word about the facts!

  • Many physicians are unaware of the known benefits of cardiac rehab. Primary care physicians too often believe their active or older patients won’t benefit.
  • Rehab patients not only live longer, but they have a better quality of life.
  • Rehab also offers social and psychological benefits no matter what your age.
  • Supervised rehab is safe, even for the very old.

Being diagnosed with cardiac disease is scary but the good news is you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources to help modify risk factors to live a healthier life.

For more information about heart disease, please check out the following links:

Go Red For Women Campaign

American Heart Association

______________________________________________________________________

More ways to follow Happy Fit Mama

Twitter → @happyfitmama

Facebook → Happy Fit Mama

Instagram → HAPPYFITMAMA

Pinterest → HappyFitMama