We don’t like to generalize, but many times women put their children and husband’s well-being ahead of their own. Unfortunately, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others. When it comes to heart attacks, women have different symptoms than men. The scary part is that heart disease is the number 1 killer of women, and many times they get so wrapped up in managing multiple things at once, that they ignore the symptoms as being something insignificant.
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According to the American Heart Association, a heart attack strikes someone every 34 seconds. It happens when the blood flow that carries oxygen to the heart muscle is reduced or cut off completely. Things like fat build-up, cholesterol and plaque cause the arteries to narrow and the flow of oxygen is blocked.
What Are They Signs?
- Pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. This pain can last a couple of minutes and even go away and then come back.
- Pain in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort
- Breaking a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent a heart attack. Even though women are natural multi-taskers, it’s important to be a little selfish and spend some time on yourself. Some of these things are things that you can do as a family, which is great news for busy moms.
- Stop smoking: This is one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart diseases. Chemicals in your cigarettes can damage your heart and blood vessels, blocking your arteries.
- Exercise: You only need 30 minutes of walking or jogging, or anything that gets your heart pumping. This also helps you control your weight and get rid of unnecessary fat in your body.
- Change your diet: Make it a rule for yourself and your family that you must eat something green in every meal. Add fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains that can protect your heart. Avoid high saturated fat, like red meat, dairy products, fried foods, baked goods, and packaged snacks.
- Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, which can lead to a heart attack. Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day. Make it a habit to go to sleep each day at the same time so that your body can follow a pattern.
- Go to the doctor: Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit your doctor. Make it a habit to get yearly screenings of blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes. These tests can potentially save your life and allow you to make the necessary changes before it’s too late.