Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Go Red In February ... It's For Your Heart Health!

There are many blogs out there that highlight women's health issues ... and for that, I applaud them.

For instance, my friend HolyMama! hosts the HolyMama's Club 17 -- where each month, on the 17th, she encourages women to take a moment to check in and report that they have done a Breast-Self-Exam (BSE) sometime since the last check in from the previous month's 17th. She brings awareness to a deadly battle women face to the forefront, and encourages women to be proactive. I encourage each one of you to go check out the links HolyMama! has provided for us so that we can become more aware, and yes, more empowered. MEN ... that means you, too, because men -- you LOVE your woman, right??? And you need to encourage her to do her monthly BSE.

Thank you, HolyMama!, for your crusade to bring awareness to each of us, and to encourage us and empower us to DO SOMETHING against this awful disease ... one breast at a time.

Moving on...

February is Heart Awareness Month. Yup ... All month long. And while many women think that breast cancer is the number one killer among women ... it is not. Heart Disease is, and ONE in EVERY THREE women get heart disease. ONE! in every THREE! Look around you ladies ... it could be you. It could be me. But it won't be, if we take action.

The American Heart Association has a website called GO RED FOR WOMEN! I encourage you to go to this website and snoop around. They have so much information specifically for women, and I can't fit it all in this one, lone post ... but I will post this ... the one, most important thing you can know and do to raise your awareness level up to "RED" when it comes to having a healthier heart: "Know Your Numbers" (the numbers that you need to know and understand the most when it comes to a healthy heart are listed at the end of this post for your convenience).

As women, we have a tremendous responsibility that rests on our shoulders... being there for our loved ones: husband; children; parents; brothers; sisters; friends; pets; co-workers. People depend on us to be a support to them, to help them, to encourage them, to BE there for them ... so, do yourself a favor, and become AWARE. Become EMPOWERED. Become HEART HEALTHY. And ... don't stop with yourself, but pass the gift along to your family, as well. Cook healthy for them and encourage healthy choices in snacks and exercise. You are the role model they are all looking up to.

So ladies ... to paraphrase the "Go Red" website: "...appreciate your health, your life and your loved ones. If women make and keep a promise to be heart-healthy, we can wipe out heart disease."

Factor What Your Goal Should Be

Blood Pressure: Normal - less than 120 over less than 80 (120/80)
Total Cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dl
LDL ("Bad") Cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL - Optimal; 100 to 129 mg/dL - Near Optimal/Above Optimal; 130 to 159 mg/dL - Borderline High; 160 to 189 mg/dL - High
190 mg/dL and above - Very High
HDL (“Good”) Cholesterol: 50 mg/dL or higher
Fasting Glucose: under 100 mg/dL
Body Mass Index (BMI): under 25
Waist Circumference: under 35
Exercise: Minimum of 30 minutes most days, if not all days of the week

As we approach Valentine's Day ...

Won't you join me and ... start now?


Diane Viere said...

Great post!

Thanks for the much needed information and inspiration!

Need to quit blogging now...and get on that treadmill!


Shalee said...

I will gladly start running again if you could make this infernal snow disappear and let the weather get up above 40! (Actually it is a goal I have for myself this month, but I'm dead serious about the weather...)

Donnetta said...

So many women don't know this is a huge risk! When I am teaching about cardiac components at work I stress this! Thanks for helping to spread the word!!

I am trying to strive for a healthier lifestyle myself.

Cheryl said...

I need to get with it. Thanks for the reminder and a Happy Valentine's Day to you...blessings!

Carol said...

Hooray! I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

hi gibee! i've been meaning to learn about women and heart health - being curious after all the Red Dress hype. but i hadn't done it. i'm off to those links right now. thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Great reminder. I should tell my wife about this site (and remember that I should take care of my heart, too).


Stacey said...

Thanks for the health tips!