We spoke with Dr. Travis Stork, a co-host on The Doctors and active ER doctor, yesterday to help spread the word about women’s heart health. During the month of February we’re all doing our part to help to curb the number one killer of women in America – heart disease. The thing is, aside from genetic influence, it can often be completely preventable based on your lifestyle choices.
We asked Dr. Stork what one thing people should do, and could do, today to start making a difference for their heart health, and thus reduce their risk of stroke or death. He recommends “the simplicity of walking 30 minutes each day.”
“[Walking] doesn’t require expensive equipment, it doesn’t require any skill set,” he said. “What I also love about walking is it can do something else that’s interesting for your heart, it can increase the quality time you spend with loved ones.” Those relationships and that time bonding are just as influential on your overall health.
He recommends that we make a post-dinner walk for 30 minutes a part of our family routines. “Make it a habit with your family, your kids will watch you and engage in your habits.” It certainly sounds a lot more appealing than plopping down on the couch as a “root vegetable,” as he described.
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Red is a fabulous color. It’s bright, bold, and down-right stunning. It’s also the official color of the Heart Truth campaign, by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and its partners to raise awareness about women’s risk for heart disease.
The Red Dress is the centerpiece of the campaign and was created as a national symbol in 2002. Its presence is meant to remind women that they need to protect their heart health and inspires them to take action. This Friday, February 3, everyone is encouraged to wear red to raise awareness for women’s heart disease.
The campaign is specifically targeted toward women ages 40 to 60; however, all women can benefit from the small changes encouraged as part of the campaign. Since heart disease develops gradually, it’s really never too early to start promoting healthy heart initiatives.
Some of the major risk factors for developing heart disease are obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, a family history of heart disease, diabetes, and being over the age of 55. Although genetics can definitely play a role in susceptibility to these risk factors, changing lifestyle behaviors can also greatly impact an individuals likelihood of developing the condition.
Although eating a well-balanced diet, staying physically active, and keeping weight in check all seem like simple notions that most people know, it’s often hard to put those general principles into practice. This is probably true because it’s difficult to envision these large scale ideas as small individual actions we make on a daily basis. These small behaviors eventually add up and result in preventative steps toward heart disease prevention.
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A brief background plus an overview of the first three chakras was outlined in part one of the Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras. The following is a continuation of the guide that explains the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chakras and what you can do to keep them open and in balance.
Sanskrit name: Anahata
English name: meaning “unstruck”
Location: middle of the chest
Associated body parts: heart, lungs and arms
Sound vibration: YA
- Governs sense of unconditional love, heart-felt gratitude and the ability to share.
- When your fourth chakra is out of balance you may have difficulty giving and receiving unconditional love for yourself and others. You might also have a weak heart, suffer from arrhythmia, heart palpitations or certain breathing problems.
- Yoga poses such as camel, bow and cobra help to open and balance the heart chakra.
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Tune in to the Today show on Wednesday, August 10th for a special segment about keeping your heart healthy. Dr. Keri Peterson will be sharing some tips on how to prevent heart problems before they happen.
In addition to being a practicing physician, Dr. Keri Peterson is a contributing columnist at Women’s Health magazine. Each month, she answers reader’s questions in her column, “The Doctor Is In.” If you can’t watch Wednesday’s episode, you can find the doctor’s heart health advice in the September issue of the magazine. Check your local listings for show times.
Women’s Health is a great resource for recipe ideas, new ways to workout style tips, health treads and much more.
Subscribe to Women’s Health magazine here!
Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.
So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:
- HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
- Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL
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