I was approached by a healthcare site about sharing a heart health fact on their site for February. Heart health is a cause close to my heart so I had to say yes. It hasn't been posted yet but I thought it would be valuable to share my story here.
My father had a fatal heart attack when he was 44. I was 14 years old. The night before he died, he had shoulder and arm pain. He ignored it. He was an early riser. When we woke up that morning, he had already been up for a bit. He was out in his car because we had out of town guests staying with us. My mom went out to check on him and found him dead. Heart disease ran in the family. His father passed away at 42. My dad also was a smoker for many years. So although his cholesterol was good, he had a number of risk factors. And I never got to have my dad watch me go to prom, graduate, get married, or have a baby.
In my late 20s, I had a sore shoulder that gave me pause. After talking to my doctor, they ended up ordering a stress test. It turned out that there was nothing wrong with my heart. But I got peace of mind after being tested.
Heart health is something we need to take seriously. Do you know the signs of a heart attack in women? What are you doing to make your heart healthier?
I know there are a number of things I could improve but my household's diet has improved greatly over last year. We're cooking more (yay for having a kitchen again!) and I'm trying to offer a number of low fat, healthy options. And I've gotten my husband to eat vegetables more often! I've also managed to eliminate some stress from my life and am practicing yoga more regularly.
I hope this February you find one new healthy habit to improve your heart health. My goal is to add more walking to my daily routine. And if you have any of the symptoms of a heart attack, please get checked out!