You know we Southerners say the phrase Bless Your Heart to cover many different meanings.  It’s an understood language amongst us southern women and no matter how we may use it in a sentence, whomever we’re talking to understands its implications perfectly.  We say it when we feel sad for someone who’s going through a difficult time, ‘bless your heart’.  We say it when someone is sick and not feeling well, ‘bless your heart’.  We say it when we discover that a friend’s husband has been cheating on her, ‘bless her heart’.  And of course we say it when we hear Aunt So ‘n So or Cousin So ‘n So say or do something really strange and we love them anyway, ‘bless their heart’. But did you know that February is take care of your heart month?  No, really!  February has been deemed by the American Heart Association as the American Heart Month! Did you also know that Heart Disease is the # 1 Killer of women? Heart Disease as defined by the Mayo Clinic:

Heart disease is a broad term used to describe a range of diseases that affect your heart. The various diseases that fall under the umbrella of heart disease include diseases of your blood vessels, such as coronary artery disease; heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias); heart infections; and heart defects you’re born with (congenital heart defects). The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as infections and conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or beating rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices.

Does that scare you a little or (or a lot) like it does me?   Read that last statement again:  ‘many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices‘.  If this is true, then why is it that,

*In 2008, over 616,000 people died of heart disease. Heart disease caused almost 25% of deaths—almost one in every four—in the United States. *Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2008 were in men. *Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease. In 2008, 405,309 people died from coronary heart disease. * Every year about 785,000 Americans have a first heart attack. Another 470,000 who have already had one or more heart attacks have another attack. *In 2010, coronary heart disease alone was projected to cost the United States $108.9 billion.3 This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. {source}

Now let’s at some of the Risk Factors of Heart Disease: Cholesterol High Blood Pressure Diabetes Tobacco Use Diet Physical Inactivity Obesity-Did you know that according to the CDC (in 2007-2008) the percentage of adults age 20 years and over who are obese was 33.9%?  That was four years ago! I’m sure that percentage is much larger now?! Excessive Alcohol Consumption So what can you do to Lower Your Risk? Well, you know ultimately it’s up to you.  It’s your decision day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute to make better lifestyle choices.  You can’t blame anyone else for the choices you make and  no one is going to hold a gun to your head to make you make better decisions. Eat a healthy lifestyle Maintain a healthy weight Exercise Don’t Smoke Decrease your consumption of alcohol See your doctor for regular screenings Has your family talked to you about your health?  Have they even pleaded with you to get healthier?   You are the only you you’ve got and you’ve only got one heart!  It’s your decision to take care of it.

Make a healthy decision today and Bless Your Heart!

4 comments on “Go Red and Bless Your Heart”

  1. Great post! I’m going to write a brief blurb about your post and link them back to the great info you’ve written about.

  2. Thanks Carolina! I appreciate it!

  3. It’s amazing how many still don’t know that this is the biggest issue effecting women. I think the scariest part is we don’t have the same symptoms as men, so we brush it off.

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