The kindest thing you can do for your loved ones? Take care of your health.
Taking care of yourself means you will be there, healthy and strong, to spend time with and care for the people you love. It is not selfish to take care of yourself, but rather selfless. Why? Because your family will suffer if you become ill. I wanted to talk about heart health and some of the issues involved in cardiac health.
How do you know when there is something wrong?
The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain, central pressure over the chest or radiating to the neck, chin and left arm, often accompanied by nausea or shortness of breath. In women, we sometimes see variable chest pain or some type of pain, pressure or discomfort in the chest. But it’s not always severe or even the most prominent symptom, particularly in women. We also need to pay attention to other symptoms, such as:
- Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
- Shortness of breath
- Right arm pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Light- headed or dizziness
- Unusual fatigue
These symptoms can be subtler than the obvious crushing chest pain often associated with heart attacks. And sometimes we downplay these symptoms.
Certainly if we really want to care for our partner, our family and the ones we love, we need to focus on how to increase the healthy manoeuvres and avoid heart disease. Instead of an extravagant high fat meal in a restaurant, why not consider a cooking class on low fat options? Instead of a sedentary activity, such as a movie, with snacks and junk food, how about trying a new activity such as hiking or snowshoeing? Or maybe a spin class or yoga?
While heart disease is the number one killer, many Canadians still don’t think of the disease as a personal concern. Lack of awareness may be a barrier to timely assessment and treatment. This Valentine’s Day, take the time to assess your heart health and your families’ health for cholesterol and triglycerides and start to make heart healthy changes in your life.
See you at the gym!!