This is a heart saving story about women and heart disease – straight from a survivor. Brought to you by the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.
Today’s message is from Stephanie, who had a heart attack at 24 after being diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 16.
At 16, Stephanie, who was overweight, had been diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Stephanie said these things were mentioned casually by her physician, but she didn’t know they were a big deal. “Because I wasn’t well educated about those conditions, they went unmanaged for a long time.”
As a college undergraduate I ate a typical fast-food diet, I rarely cooked my own food and often ate out. After my heart attack that all changed. I’ve lost 70 pounds and significantly reduced my blood pressure and cholesterol. I work out five to six times a week and my experience has pushed me to eat healthy. My diet is heavy on protein, fiber and produce, and I’m big on reading labels. I’ve learned that you can love your heart by paying attention to what you put in your mouth.
Changing the way you eat and prepare food can reduce your risk.
Not all fats are created equal. Use only fats and oils with 2 grams (or less) of saturated fat per tablespoon.
Break free of frying. Boil, bake, sauté, steam, microwave, grill, broil, roast, or poach your entrée to cut the fat and keep the flavor.
When eating prepared food, pay close attention to labels. Hydrogrenated oils and fats are often hidden in the ingredient list.
For recipes that let you love your heart and enjoy your meals visit the American Heart Association’s online cookbook at www.deliciousdecision.org
For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com
Campbell’s asked people across America to take inspiration from a real female heart-health hero who motivates them and share their story and their red dress design. In February, American Heart Month, the winning designer and their heart-health hero will travel to New York City to walk the red carpet at the Woman’s Day Red Dress Awards with fashion expert Tim Gunn and model the winning dress.
Read the finalist’s stories and learn about the heart-health hero who inspired them. Then view their designs and vote for your favorite story and dress. For each vote, Campbell’s is donating $1 up to $625,000 to the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women® movement. Voting ends January 28, but you can continue to click to donate through March 31, 2010.
Click here to vote: http://www.campbellsaddressyourheart.com/
(From AHA Go Red Newsletter)
Did you know that today, a woman can be charged health insurance premiums 150% higher than a man of the same age? Unfortunately, it’s true. Studies have found that women pay significantly higher premiums than men of the same age for individual health insurance policies providing identical coverage. And these higher health care costs can put coverage out of reach for women with heart disease and even for women who are taking preventative measures to reduce their risk. And in most states, those with a pre-existing medical condition as common as high blood pressure can be denied coverage altogether or charged unaffordable premiums. That’s why we’re calling on you, as a member of the Go Red for Women movement, to make your voice heard and join us in letting Congress know that the fight against our Nation’s No. 1 killer of women requires urgent action on health care reform. On September 30th, American Heart Association advocates will be on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges they face as heart disease survivors in affording health care coverage — and they need your help to make their message impossible to ignore.
Email your Members of Congress today and let them know women with heart disease need their support in reforming the broken health care system.
If you need inspiration to become more physically active, a push to get going or just want to have more fun, here are six of the best, easy-to-afford and effective pieces of exercise gear.
Using just one of these regularly will improve your fitness without straining your budget:
Resistance bands: Stretchy and fun, they do the work of weights but pack easily in a purse or pocket. Versatile for several body areas. ($3+)
Jump rope: Remember when you could jump for hours with your friends? You don’t need hours now—just 5 or 10 minutes of jumping (indoors, if you prefer) will boost your activity level and burn calories. ($3+)
Exercise mat: You’ll be more comfortable, with a safer grip, than exercising on a carpet or bare floor. That will help you be active more easily, for a longer time. ($15+)
Hand weights: Keep a set by the computer or TV and use while watching something entertaining. ($5+)
Exercise ball: Sized for your height, most of these come with their own pump for easy inflation (and reinflation). Great for strengthening various muscle groups. Use as a chair and you’ll get a bit of a workout just from balancing on it. ($15+)
Pedometer: Just put it on and in a day or two you’ll be more aware of how much (or little) you’re moving every day. Aim to increase your average daily steps by 5 percent every week until you reach 10,000 steps a day, a goal that the American Heart Association and other experts suggest. Then add more to increase benefits. ($10+)
Often, you can find fitness items such as exercise DVDs, roller skates, workout clothing and more at yard or garage sales for just a dollar or two.
If you’re interested in acquiring big home-gym equipment, yard sales and online community boards are great places to find barely used items. Recently, one site had offerings that included treadmills for $35 to $75, a weight bench for $1 and an elliptical machine for $180. Just remember that you’ll probably have to arrange for transporting the big and heavy pieces—as well as find a space for them in your home.
© 2009 National Women’s Health Resource Center, Inc. (NWHRC) All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from the NWHRC. 1-877-986-9472 (tollfree). On the Web at: www.healthywomen.org.
Many people with risk factors for heart disease need to take several pills – one (many times several pills needed to get blood pressure controlled) to control their blood pressure, one to control their cholesterol, and an aspirin to prevent a heart attack or stroke.
Results of an initial study of an experimental polypill were presented at the American College of Cardiology conference this week (results will be published online in the journal Lancet). The polypill actually contains low doses of 3 different blood pressure medications (atenolol, ramipril, and a “water pill” thiazide), plus the generic form of the cholesterol lowering medication Zocor, and low dose aspirin. This would allow patients to take only one pill instead of five pills every day. This study was performed in India and involved over 2,000 patients with at least one risk factor for heart disease. Patients taking the polypill had lowering of their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers and effective anti-clotting effects. No increase in side effects was seen, side effects were similar to patients taking the five individual medications. Taking this single polypill could potentially cut a person’s risk of heart attack and stroke in half.
Of course further larger scale studies are warranted and FDA approval (which could take years) needs to be obtained before this combination medication would be available in the U.S. But these are promising initial results and could possibly improve medication compliance.