Q&A WITH THE FITNESS DIVA
Q. February is American Heart Month! What are you doing to prevent heart disease?
A. What is heart disease? Simply put, heart disease (also known as coronary heart disease) is “a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to heart attack” according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. When an artery becomes obstructed, oxygen and other nutrients are unable to reach the heart, and this subsequently leads to a heart attack. It is important to remember that heart disease is merely one of many cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, rheumatic heart disease, angina, and stroke. What makes the disease so dangerous is that it is the number one killer of women. Most women don’t think that heart disease can happen to them, and if they were to get it, that it can be fixed with medication or surgery—this couldn’t be further from the truth. True, certain procedures can help, but once the arteries are damaged, they remain that way, which ups your risk of having a heart attack—especially if you don’t change your diet and lifestyle.
So, make today the day that you start taking care of your heart. Some simple ways to get started would be to find out your personal heart history. If you smoke, stop as soon as possible (we all know the reasons to quit); next, get a checkup with your physician to find out if you have any risk factors, (like high blood pressure or high cholesterol) and ask for tips on how to lower your risk for heart disease. If you are already being treated for heart disease, brush up on your treatment options; find out if what you have been doing is still working for you or if there are any better options available. Be as honest as possible with your doctor—he/she is there to help and guide you. Some risk factors associated with coronary heart disease are: age (being 55 or older for women), smoking, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, having a family history of heart disease, and diabetes. Some of these risk factors are outside of a person’s control (like family history or age), but some aren’t, such as physical inactivity. It’s never too late to start investing in your health! Start today with exercise, such as weight-lifting or Pilates, running, swimming, or riding your bike (just to name a few). Get your body moving, your heart pumping, and start eating clean! If you need guidance or have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a certified personal trainer and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email [email protected] She can also be reached at www.PinkIslandFitness.com or www.101FIT.com and (239) 333-5771.