Kalin’s Chronicles: Love Your Heart

Go Red DayIn the United States, February is the month of love, but it is also American Heart Month. So I’m mixing the two to tell all you “Women at Forty” – and older — to love your heart this month.

Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death among women – more than breast cancer?

Here are some tips on symptoms, prevention and places to go for more information on how you can love your heart to health.

What is heart disease?

Heart disease – also called cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease – is a simple term used to describe several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it more difficult for blood to flow and creating a risk for heart attack or stroke.

According to the American Heart Association, one in three women has some form of heart disease.

Heart attack symptoms in women:

• Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.
• Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
• Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
• Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

***If you have any of these signs, don’t wait more than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital right away.

Prevention tips:

• Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to learn your personal risk for heart disease.    Quit smoking — just one year after you quit, you’ll cut your risk of coronary heart disease by 50 percent.
• Start an exercise program. Just walking 30 minutes a day can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke.
• Reduce stress — meditation is a good option.
• Modify your by eating less fried foods and red meat, and using the leaner white meat of skinless chicken.
• Per TV’s Dr. Oz:   lose belly fat and get enough sleep.  Belly fat and insomnia can both lead to heart disease.

Women’s Heart Resources:

• Go Red For Women

My Life Check Risk Calculator
National Coalition of Women with Heart Disease
Sister to Sister

So during this month of love, do something loving for your heart — it pumps hard for you!

Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.



  • pammie g

    Thanks for the reminder. I have one or more of those symptoms everyday- how are you supossed to know when it’s “REAL” or not. I know they tell us all of this- and it’s great to remember but seriously how are we supossed to know ?