October 2016

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.