In this month bursting with the color red, hearts and candy, we want to celebrate some amazing things we’ve learned and loved. Of course, we’re still on the path to raise awareness about women and heart disease, risks and prevention, so we’re focused on positive stories and special resources around “going red.” Here are our favorites for the month:
Free Heart Health Screenings
We can’t say it enough—knowing your numbers is crucial. Unchecked high blood pressure can sneak up on the healthiest people, and it’s due to a lot of causes. This month, CVS Health is offering no cost heart health screenings in support of women’s heart health. We encourage you to take advantage of this free resource to check your numbers now so you can manage and change your habits as needed. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
With no risk factors for a heart attack, a 47-year-old mother of three saw no red flags before her heart attack in 2018. She did battle long-term heartburn (see above!) but never any chest pain. She’s shared her story with Middletown Press in hopes of letting women know exactly what she experienced—and the hopefulness that comes with knowing and advocating for yourself.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, only a minority of heart attack patients experience the symptoms we associate with it, like sudden, squeezing, intense chest pain. Prevention magazine echoes similar symptoms, like heartburn-like pain and shortness of breath. It’s scary to think everyday feelings like these can signal something so significant, but noting this information can be a lifesaver.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate
It’s a real treat when we hear that something sweet and tasty is actually good for us. And dark chocolate is exactly that! According to this Healthline article, “Many controlled studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure, though the effects are usually mild.” So it may not be perfect, but if you get a craving it’s a good go-to—better than the alternatives!
The risks associated with smoking are well-documented, but what about the benefits of quitting? Did you know that “Only 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop closer to normal levels.” Or “About one year after quitting, the risk of getting coronary heart disease is only half as high as smokers.” Check out this LiveWell with UnityPoint Health article for the full scoop on the power of quitting.