Healthy Heart..The beat goes on

Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African-American women annually.

  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.
  • Only 1 in 5 African-American women believes she is personally at risk.
  • Only 52 percent of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Only 36 percent of African-American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.
  • Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.

These unsettling stats show that diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and so on have been prevalent in our society for many years. I have a family history of hypertension and over the years, I didn’t think anything of eating right, being fit, and having regular physicals. I am going to confess to a plain truth here: I’m a foodie and within our culture, it’s known for heavy spices and seasonings: FLAVOR 🙂 And this is a fact with almost any culture that enjoys great food. The difficult part is in finding low sodium substitutes because cutting back the amount of SALT really makes a major impact as well as frequent exercise.exercise_heart

In September 2016, I was asleep or I would say on my way there, when I felt a strong pulling on the left side of my chest. Of course, my first thoughts were to dismiss this. I figured perhaps I shouldn’t have laid down so soon after eating etc but it continued. I made the decision to go to Vassar Brothers Hospital ER( which is one of the BEST in heart health!) and there I was told I just had a MI/Myocardial Infarction=Heart Attack. Next step, hooked on monitors and overnight stay, met with my cardiologist and went through the usual tests i.e. EKG etc. Was it a scare? Indeed. At the grand age of 39 years old, I went through an experience that doesn’t happen, in most cases, to others until years later. It was a warning, a real life lesson that had me reflect on my life in a way I never had before. So I did what anyone in this situation would do, I made the effort to change. As a result, I lost 10 lbs, eliminated salt and obtained a membership at Crunch fitness. I had a love/hate relationship with water but I am working on it; that is an essential. I have never been obese but all the women in our family have that curvy melanin magic;) It is important to clear the air here: You can be 250lbs and still be healthy and being a size 5 doesn’t guarantee you’re fit. We have to stop making assumptions based on appearance. Am I happy with my current size now? Of course but there is always room for improvement. What matters most is what we put into our bodies. My affair with homemade Italian pizza had to come to a halt. I love Italian food. The robust sauce, all of the different pasta, it just doesn’t get any better. Making a choice to learn how to make my own pizza at home is worth it. It’s these little sacrifices and changes you make because you care about your health and you want to see positive changes with your condition. There is so much information out here now with how to prepare food that you really can’t go wrong. Portion control becomes your best friend and still satisfy those cravings. Check out http://www.goredforwomen.org for more information about heart disease, knowing the risks and getting involved.aa_women_heart_disease_infog

I came across another website in reference to exercise and its http://www.girltrek.org. It’s an awesome non-profit organization that inspires and supports women and girls to live their healthiest and most fulfilled lives. “It’s more than a walk, it’s a health revival” from signing up to take the pledge, finding a Girl Trek team in your area, or even taking the initiative to start one up yourself( I’m thinking about it!), it’s an opportunity to meet new friends and a great stress protest. heart2

Start each day with a grateful mind and a willingness to make the most out of your day. There is a saying health is the greatest wealth and when you look at the factors of daily life, burdens, deadlines, disappointments and so on, it pays to take great care of yourself. Your star player. Of course its wonderful to have a great team, a support system of peers that inspire and motivate you to be on point, you are all working to lift one another up in different areas but don’t forget to take that time to follow up on YOU. *OPEN HEART STRONG MIND HEALTHY BODY*heart.gif