Heart Disease is the leading cause of death of both men and women in the United States.
Some Frightening Statistics:
- About every 26 seconds someone in this country has a heart attack, and about one person dies of heart disease every minute of every day.
- Although the overall death rates for heart disease have been declining over the last several years, the death rates for younger women (aged 35 to 44) have increased approximately 1.3% annually between 1997 and 2002.
- Recent research has suggested that Hispanic women may develop heart disease risk factors 10 years earlier than white women.
- African American men and women have the highest risk of developing high blood pressure and the highest death rates from heart disease.
Now the Good News:
- 80% of heart attacks are preventable
- The “Turning Back the Clock” Study found that following a healthy lifestyle (exercising 2.5 hours weekly, eating 5 fruits/vegetables a day, not smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight) reduce the risk for heart disease by 80%
Heart Healthy Goals:
- Know Your Numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, weight)
- Exercise 30 minutes daily (Get a pedometer to track your activity – all adults should be walking at least 10,000 steps every day)
- Identify healthy ways to lower your stress level
- Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than 2 a day for men, no more than 1 a day for women
- Stop smoking, avoid second hand smoke
- Diet: Eat whole grains, fish (not fried) twice a week, eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits/vegetables a day, avoid trans fat, limit saturated fat
- Limit salt/sodium intake
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Cut back on beverages/food with added sugars (a 24-ounce regular soda has 280 calories, if you eliminate one soda from your diet every day you could lose 30 pounds in a year)
- Prevent weight gain by eating 100 fewer calories every day and increasing your activity by 2,000 steps every day