The first thing that usually comes to mind when health is discussed is diet and exercise. While this is important, it’s our heart that matters most. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of fatalities in men and women in the United States. And many cases can be caught with early detection and healthy lifestyle habits. Although signs and symptoms are different for men and women, prevention and treatment is the same. Healthy habits to incorporate into your daily life include:

  • Regular exercise: Get your body moving at least 30 minutes every day. Whether it’s a brisk walk or a jog, regular exercise is key to a healthy heart.
  • Eat healthy: Choosing foods low in fat and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables keep your heart in shape and help prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
  • Don’t smoke: Not smoking is not only a great way to keep your heart healthy, it also benefits your entire body.
  • Check in with your doctor: Visit your doctor for regular check-ups, especially if you have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Know the signs and symptoms: Be in the know of what to look for, not only for yourself, but your loved ones, too.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease present themselves differently in men and women. Men usually experience the classic symptoms of a heart attack including chest pain that spreads to the arms, as well as shortness of breath. Some patients have reported a sense of impending doom.

Women tend to have difficulty breathing, nausea, abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, and chest pain. Because of these differences, it is so important to know the signs of a heart attack, your risk factors, and what to do if you experience these symptoms. Talk to your doctor about these issues and know the matters of your heart.

February is Heart Health month. Take the time to show your heart some love and talk to your doctor about any risk factors you may have and learn about what you can do to strengthen this precious organ. Start new, healthy habits today that will aid in the prevention of heart disease.

Your heart matters!