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    You’re In Control

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | February 11th, 2018

    You’re In Control

    What is the leading cause of death among women in the United States?

    Heart disease and yet only 54% of women are aware of this fact. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans, men and women. Recently, in many communities there has been an increase in death among adults aged 35 – 64 years of age. We can change this.

    February has been designated American Heart Month and this year’s theme is ‘you’re in control’. Although, we cannot control all the risk factors for heart disease like family history of early heart disease and getting older, we have the ability to control other risk factors. American Heart Month is used as a time to educate and renew our efforts in prevention and management of chronic disease.

    How do you take control?
    1. Find time to be active – Yes, it would be great to exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week but any movement is better than no movement. You can start out with 10 or even 5 minutes a day. Make it a habit to park far away from where you need to go, use the stairs instead of the elevator, learn some dance moves from You tube so that you are prepared for the next line dance at a party, walk to your destination if it is less than a mile – use every opportunity to move.

    2. Make healthy eating a habit – Changing the way one eats can be difficult but not impossible. I find that making small changes add up. The goal is to cut down on your sodium (salt) and increase your vegetables and fruits. Consider packing your meals and snacks to work to eliminate the temptation to use the vending machine, look at your plate and work towards making sure half your plate is filled with vegetables, be the person for potlucks bringing the fruit or vegetable tray.

    3. Quit tobacco – This can make such a difference in reducing your risk of heart disease. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to help.

    4. Know your numbers – I feel like a broken record, but we know that uncontrolled high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity/overweight and diabetes are significant risk factors to heart disease. You need to know your numbers to know if you have any of these problems. You need to know your numbers to make sure you are managing your chronic disease. Get a blood pressure check. Know your body mass index, lipid (cholesterol) profile and hemoglobin A1C.

    5. Find ways to manage stress – Taking a deep breath when you are angry, meditating, getting enough sleep, practicing an attitude of gratitude are just a few ways to manage stress.

    2 Responses to “You’re In Control”

    1. April says:

      Another great article and I am pleased to announce I have found and started Yoga. It has taken me a while to do, but I have.

      Love it!

    Leave a Reply

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