American Heart Month is joining the Boomer Revolution! The American Heart Association’s healthy heart awareness program celebrates 50 years this February. Family caregivers are encouraged to use this month to evaluate their lifestyle and review their risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and other health issues.
Celebrate heart month by taking a few small steps toward better heart health:
1. Take a quick walk. Although it may be difficult to fit in an exercise routine, just getting moving is the first step!
2. Take a break. Relax and rejuvenate by taking a quick moment to meditate.
3. Try a new recipe. Changing a diet overnight can be difficult, but incorporating one or two new healthy eating tips each week is the first step to a healthier lifestyle.
4. Quit smoking. It’s a proven risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Ask your health care professional for assistance in selecting a smoking-cessation program that’s right for you.
5. Know your blood pressure. Walgreens pharmacies and other health care centers are offering free blood pressure checks during February.
6. Know your risk factors. Schedule a visit with your health care professional so that you may review your family history, personal risk factors and lifestyle changes that you should begin implementing for a healthy heart.
7. Know the symptoms of a heart attack in women. Since most family caregivers are women, we’re sharing the heart attack signs in women.
- Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
- Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or light headedness.
- As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.
- For additional heart attack symptoms, visit the American Heart Association.
If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.