Last week I heard a cardiologist speak about prevention. He enjoyed it, he said, "because by the time a patient gets to a cardiologist, it's not about prevention. It's already a problem." That's what he said.
He talked a long time, fed us a heart-healthy snack, and showed us how to make it from scratch. It was delicious! So here is the bottom line if you're interested.
- Every minute a woman dies in the USA due to some cardio event. That's over 525,000 a year. Breast cancer claims 40,000 lives in the same year.
- Men still die younger than women, BUT if a man makes it to the hospital with a heart attack, 70% of them will live. For women, only 30% will survive.
- Men usually get a crushing pain in the chest. Women may, but are more likely to have shortness of breath and gastro discomfort in the pit of the stomach or reflex type symptoms, and light-headednes.
- "Time is muscle", he said. Once you lose heart muscle, you never get it back. So don't wait if you're concerned.
- Exercise is the best thing you can do for your heart health according to ALL studies. How much? Hold on! He says, "One hour, 3-4 times a week." He wants that exercise to make you breathless for most of the hour...not just a casual stroll but an intense one.
- Someone, me, asked about red wine because my husband loves it so. The Doc loves it too. Says it's so good for you, but, you men gotta stop at 8 ounces, and we women must stop at 4. That's not a lot. Excessive alcohol causes an enzyme in your heart to "uncouple" when it needs to "couple".
- Blood Pressure is important. Again, exercise, he says. Same to lower cholesterol.
- Diabetes is HUGE to this heart doctor. He says it always affects the heart, and not in a good way.
So, you probably knew all of that already. Sorry I can't share the snack. It was homemade hummus, spread on pita bread and drizzled with romesco sauce. I had seconds. Really good.
Other good heart things to do. Love yourself, love your friends, heck, just love. And play. And laugh. And enjoy every day. Interesting that "God is love", isn't it. Does a body good. (I John 4:8)