Monday, February 1, 2010

What Numbers Do You Know By Heart???

I’ll bet you know a lot of numbers by heart!  Birthdates of your children/loved ones, phone numbers, bank account numbers, PIN numbers? But, do you know your BMI? Your cholesterol? Your blood pressure? Your body fat%? How much exercise you should be doing to keep healthy? Your metabolic rate and calorie expenditure to decrease or maintain body weight? If you are like most women, you don’t! As a matter of fact, the American Heart Association found only 13% of women knew their own risk status.

This month is National Heart Disease Awareness month, and I will be addressing issues regarding it in the next few blogs. Did you know that heart disease is now the #1 cause of death among women? Yep…men don’t have dibs on it any longer! All those protective hormones we had, decline as we age…so, hormone-wise, we become more like men (I don’t mean you’ll find yourself on the couch with the remote control in one hand and the other tucked into your pants!) and the diseases commonly associated with them.

Get to know what your numbers are, and what the benchmark numbers are for good heart health. Once you know your numbers, record them, don’t leave it to your doctor or health professional to be the only one who knows! If yours indicate an elevated risk, make the lifestyle changes needed to lower your risk and beat the odds. Cynthia Stuenkel, MD, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the U of California says, that too many women say, “Just give me the medication, doc.” But, she says, “how we live our lives on a day-to-day basis is the most powerful medicine we have.” By taking preventative measures, studies suggest that you can reduce your heart disease risk by up to 82%!

So, why not turn the tables and change your lifestyle before a heart attack does it first!

“Take care of your life - without it, you’re dead.” - Unknown

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