• Workout in a fitness gym

    Workout in a fitness gym

    I hope that there are many of you reading this that will agree with me on this. But I am not one of those who believe in the Darwinian saying of the survival of the fittest. Always speaking in a positive frame of mind, I believe we should be framing our affirmations on life and the efforts required to achieve personal and career goals around the adventurous saying of, how about this then, the clash of the titans, positively speaking, of course.

  • Family

    Family

  • Personal Development

    Personal Development

    I have given this title on a very emotive and personal issue cryptically and, I think, creatively. I am hoping that the personal thoughts shared throughout the rest of this post does raise similar thoughts, whether agreeing with what I am sharing, or whether there is some debate about it. It should resonate well with those who consider themselves believers and strive to lead faith-based lives.

  • Work life balance choices

    Work life balance choices

BEYOND A BLOG

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CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH FOR WOMEN

From a health and fitness point of view, and specifically when we chat about the health of women in general, what do we really know or understand about cardiovascular health for women. I didn’t understand too much about it myself until I started reading up about it. Prior to my interest in cardiovascular health and my reading, I was more interested in seeking out solutions to improve the outcomes for women in regard to them being able to participate in regular exercise programs without the stigmas that many women are stilled faced with.

Call it what you will, these stigmas are generally and misguidingly influenced by religion and culture. It seems amazing to me that, still to this day, there is the belief that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, so to speak. Is it any wonder then that historically over the last number of years, women have been more prone to heart disease? They are also more vulnerable than men in regard to other diseases such as diabetes and obesity, both of which are increasing at alarmingly unprecedented rates.

The focus of this and the next set of blog articles will be on cardiovascular health. I will be giving readers some brief notes on issues related to heart disease and what can be done to prevent it or at least reduce the risks of women ever inheriting it. Speaking of which, it is also quite tragic that many diseases, even diabetes to a degree, are inherited diseases. How tragic is that? Nevertheless, it has been shown time and time again that it is possible to overcome and manage disabilities. Women have been able to overcome tragic circumstances and go on to live long, happy and prosperous lives, mainly because they took the time and effort to empower themselves with knowledge on how to address health and fitness issues.

This series of blog posts I would therefore like to dedicate to those courageous women who have gone on to defy the odds and simply inspire others to follow suit. In this current series of blog notes, alongside some of the information on cardiovascular health will be the following. There will be a general overview on cardiovascular health with a specific note addressed to women. My notes are mainly motivational and are designed to encourage readers not to drop their guard and address their shortcomings in health and fitness, if they have any.

Added to health and fitness imperatives, I feel, must be a discussion on wellbeing, or wellness. Again, the discussion specifically targets women. Chats on wellbeing are divided into physical and emotional wellbeing. You will soon see how the two are interlinked and that neither can enjoy a successful outcome without the other. Just for enjoyment’s sake (and for motivation), I have decided to include a note on one healthy dietary tool or practice known as the making of smoothies, or smoothies. Alongside this will be a brief chat on healthy food for the heart.

The posts run chronologically, as I have just indicated. They will also be serialized, if necessary. That is to say that if I feel our chat is not over in the designated time and space given for the blog post, bearing in mind too that we all have our busy lives to attend to, it will be continued in the next post. Thank you for signing up with me, and I do hope that everything that is written here gives you the necessary boost to do something about your health and that of your loved ones. So, without further ado, let us begin the discussions on cardiovascular health.

Let us begin with the symptoms to look out for if it is suspected that someone, perhaps even you, is about to suffer a heart attack. I thought I’d bring up this topic right away because I have experienced panic and, thankfully, a false sense of alarm before. Whatever I was feeling before, a nervous sweat perhaps, turned out to be nothing more than that.

Let it be known that heart attack symptoms can be significantly different for women than they are in men. But these following symptoms are generally felt by both sexes. Let me relate to you one symptom which I have personally experienced a number of times only to learn that it was nowhere close to a heart attack. For different reasons, I felt sensations of nausea. This generally means that you are feeling sick to your stomach. Other women often complain of feeling dizzy. Then there is something else that I’ve experienced before; the breaking out into a cold sweat, although that encounter was rare for me. Still, it did happen and it was scary.

I have often felt tired, even on days when I was not busy. Shortness of breath is another symptom. But the most common symptoms felt by both men and women are pain in the arms, neck, jaw, back or upper stomach. The big one is the chest pain. It is described as being a pressurized sensation or heavy ache.

 

 

EMOTIONAL WELLBEING FOR WOMEN

Hello, hope you enjoyed reading my first post on cardiovascular health for women. I trust that it was sufficiently informative and motivational for you, particularly those of you who, like I did once upon a time, are opening your eyes for the first time on the pertinent issues of health and fitness, specifically related to women. May I widen your eyes a little further by talking to you about our emotional wellbeing? I regard this subject as something of a niche topic for me because of my personal background and my present-day advocacy in favor of improving lives, specifically those of women and their children.

Nothing makes my day more than seeing a fellow woman smile for good reason. Nothing breaks my heart more than encountering a woman or child that has been abused. Physical abuse is easily detected because the scars and bruises will be visible in any case. And it is not easy for any woman to hide her marks from those who truly care about her wellbeing. What is not so easy to detect is the emotional trauma that any one woman may have experienced. It’s buried in the recesses of her heart and is not always let out for others to know about.

But let’s put that aside for a moment because I am still thinking what cardiovascular health means to me and, perhaps, to you as well. To my mind, it is a process that entails looking after the human interests of both body and emotions. On the physical side, cardiovascular wellbeing comes about through regular physical exercise, weights or aerobics, or sporting activities, such as tennis or basketball that are generally enjoyable pursuits and involve bonding with others. Emotionally, the less stress one has in one’s life, the less chance there is of nervous palpitations or heart attacks.

And, of course, alongside the healthy active life must be healthy eating that is well balanced and includes all the important food groups. But the argument goes that exercise offers you cardiovascular benefits that simply eating right and being emotionally okay doesn’t. It boosts your metabolism to no end and helps you to keep your weight and fat levels at constant, healthy levels. It boosts your pride and confidence in being able to reflect in the mirror just how well shaped your body has become over a period of time.

Those that have been classified or clinically diagnosed as being morbidly obese also go on to picking up other tragic illnesses such as depression. It cannot be surprising just how much emotional pain must be caused from the realization of not being able to do the things that others, like you and me, take for granted. I cannot imagine what it must be like not being able to run free in a meadow, or ride a bicycle on a warm, sunny afternoon. It takes a lot for heavily overweight women to get to that point but just know this ladies, if there are some of you out there going through such weighty traumas, weight loss can be achieved, and it is best achieved through cardiovascular exercise.

Those that have gone too far down the road in regard to living and eating unhealthily and who now need lifelong treatment need not be depressed any longer either. If you have diabetes now, it is still possible for you to lead a long and healthy life. If you have a heart condition, you will be alright just as long as you are taking your prescribed medication along with your daily exercise and following your heart-orientated eating plans.  Not there yet? Now is not the time to be complacent. Simply make sure that you go at least twice a year for regular testing of your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. These days, not even the poorest among us can excuse themselves from such necessities. Government clinics, as a matter of course, are running such tests for free. It makes sense for them to do this because otherwise they would be saddled with the exorbitant medical costs. But, generally speaking, the old proverb applies to all of us. Prevention is better than the cure.

MY FAVORITE BOOKS AND MOVIES

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If I get to talk about books in this post, then so be it. It may be a good thing. But to be quite honest with you, I have not been reading as voraciously as I would have liked and had been doing up to about a year ago. My present reading across all genres is rather sporadic at the best of times. This is a pity because my mind is not entirely focused on the text and its words and appears to be distracted by things, stressful issues related to work mainly, away from the book or paper. Read more

BLOGGING FOR CREATIVE WOMEN

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I hope you enjoyed my earlier post on this subject. I certainly enjoyed writing it up. What I got out of it may raise similar positive emotions for you. As you may recall, I emphasized mainly the idea of writing from a personal point of view as a featured style of a personal or journal-style blog. But, of course, we have to acknowledge that we are all quite different from one another, so it doesn’t necessarily follow that this idea of mine will always find credence with other bloggers. Read more

HEALTHY SMOOTHIES AND HEALTHY FOOD FOR THE HEART

And so it goes. We have come this far. We’ve had a heart to heart chat, in more ways than one, on the values of cardiovascular health. To think that it all began with my own heartfelt feelings for other women who are still going through a lot of strain on both the emotional and physical fronts. Now, you all know just how invaluable improved cardiovascular health can be in your life. Before I forget, let me just briefly introduce you to an interesting angle on healthy food for the heart. Already a few years in practice, the making of healthy smoothies is still being experienced as something of a sensation, even by those who are not too particular about their health but more in love with satisfying their taste buds.

Because I can tell you this much. Not only are smoothies wholesomely nourishing, they are awesomely tasty. While it is necessary for you to focus on specific food groups, specific to your health conditioning requirements, you can truly have a field day when it comes down to satiating your tastes. Health nuts, if I may use that expression, are already quite accustomed to what are known as green smoothies where there is a strong focus on the use of green vegetables.

My favorite, however, remains the breakfast smoothie which can also be enjoyed at other times of the day as a lighter than usual snack in between regular meals. These smoothies can be packed with fat-free plain yogurt, oats or muesli, raisins and nuts and your favorite breakfast time fruits. Mine just happens to be the banana. And instead of focusing too much on leafy greens, I like a good dollop of green avocado in my green smoothie.

Now, to put more stock on improving our cardiovascular health, let me impart to you a few reminders on what to look out for when striving towards a daily, balanced meal plan that is as heart-friendly as it can be. Other nutritionists are still saying choose foods that are low in salt or sodium. I say discard the salt altogether. Your heart will be thanking you in the morning for this. Also, others are suggesting that one should merely ‘cut back on sugar’. Granted, I know from personal experience just how difficult it can be to initially punish the old sweet tooth.

But I learned to gradually wean myself off white sugar and my favorite sugary snacks. Breakfast time or teatime, I’ve now utilized organic honey as my healthy replacement for processed white sugar. For once, I can agree that foregoing everything that is extremely harmful to you if taken in large or regular quantities overnight is near impossible. But it can be achieved over time. Soon, you’ll be growing your own organic vegetables instead of snapping up cans of the preserved varieties. You’ll be eating a little more fish instead of indulging in your favorite ribs on the barbecue fire.

And here is another reason on just why I hate red meat. Because it’s such a strong message to make a note of, I’m going to quote it in full just as I read it elsewhere. ‘Limit foods that have Trans fat. Too much Trans fat can cause heart attacks’. That’s putting it bluntly. Forget about red meat, what about all the processed foods in our supermarkets that we have all become quite accustomed to over the years. They are still there. But at least we now know that we have our reading glasses and we can read the ingredients labels on the products that we thought we fancied with our dinner tonight.

And that is about all I have to say on the subject of healthy eating for a healthy heart tonight. You know, all this talk of food has made me quite hungry. In a healthy sort of way, of course.