It's our mission to fight heart disease in 2016

January 29, 2016 | Mission Fed

Heart disease is the number one health threat for women in the US, but many cases are preventable. Do you know the cause of heart disease? The survival rate or whether women of all ethnicities have the same risk? Don’t worry, neither did I. Now is the time to learn!

Being a woman and a mother of three adult daughters, I was alarmed to find out that heart disease was the culprit of one in three women’s deaths each year. But I was also empowered to get proactive and make it my personal mission to educate my daughters, friends and fellow San Diegans, and support CBS Channel 8’s promotion to raise awareness for the American Heart Association®, Go Red for Women campaign.

During the month of January Mission Fed teamed up with CBS Channel 8 to promote heart disease awareness and raise donations with $5 red dress pins available for purchase in all 28 branches throughout San Diego until January 30. I encourage all San Diegans to wear red on Friday, February 5 in support of National Wear Red Day. If not for yourself, do it for your friends, husbands, wives, children and mothers and fathers who have been or could be affected by heart disease.

Sir Francis Bacon was attributed to the popular phrase “Knowledge is Power.” It’s with those words in mind that I’ve decided to take power into my own hands and learn more about my risk factors, like if heart disease runs in my family, and make a plan to counterbalance my risks. Get your power back and find out your risks at the American Heart Association website. Being aware of your risks may just save your life!

One of the best ways to find out is through screening tests during regular well-woman appointments with your doctor. Research suggests that you should start as early as 20. However, starting at any age is better than doing nothing at all. As part of my 2016 resolutions, I’m advising my friends and family to start screening this year. Being a heart disease awareness advocate is very rewarding. Is there someone you could share this knowledge with?

Heart disease comes in different forms, including heart attack, stroke, cardiac arrest and many more. While some symptoms of heart disease may be similar in men and women, there are even more differences. So before you pass your jaw pain off as the result of sleeping funny or lightheadedness as something a snack or rest can fix, learn the symptoms and, most importantly, be proactive!

Now that you know where to go and what to do to find out if you and your loved ones are at risk of developing heart disease, take a page out of my playbook and develop a prevention plan—it’s easy! Here’s a peek at mine -

Lola’s 2016 heart disease prevention plan—now that’s official!

  • Research heart disease on the American Heart Association website.
  • Schedule a heart disease screening appointment.
  • Participate in one 5k walking event each month—with a great group of girlfriends!
  • Go on a walk in the evening with my husband to create healthy quality time together and relieve the day’s stress.
  • Focus on healthy eating, meal planning and eating locally when I can.
  • Plant a garden to have fresh vegetables and herbs available. I like to get creative in the kitchen and nothing tastes better than a homegrown tomato!
  • Find additional ways to help manage stress and put them into action.

A large part of prevention can be obtained with living a heart healthy lifestyle by monitoring your diet, exercise and stress. It’s easy to make healthy habits a part of your day by choosing fun activities you’ll want to stick with. Living in San Diego gives us access to fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood and the beautiful outdoors, to keep us eating well and active all year long.

Cheers to a heart healthy 2016!

Mission Fed is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Lender. All accounts and loans are subject to approval.

The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. Mission Federal Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided. References to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name in this article by Mission Federal Credit Union is for the information and convenience of its readers and does not constitute endorsement, control or warranty by Mission Federal Credit Union.

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