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I'm worried about my heart what can I do?

By Anonymous September 13, 2009 - 10:55pm
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Okay here's the deal. I'm overweight and I know I need to trim down, like maybe 25-35 pounds or so. I was looking at some family scrapbooks with my kids tonight and they were asking me about a lot of the people in the photos and for too many of my relatives I had to answer with "she died honey" or "he's not alive anymore." Then the kids started asking why they were all dead and it struck me how many of my close relatives passed away from heart disease! It just really scared me. My parents are still alive and they are okay but I'm talking about grandparents, uncles on both sides, etc. So it's time to get serious about my health and my heart because I want to be with my kids for a long long time!! I am looking for information on how to get your heart as healthy as possible and maybe too for places that can screen you for possible stuff? My checkups always go well but I don't think I've ever had a heart exam per se. I'm 40 if that makes a difference in the information I should have. Thank you for your help, Monica

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I just want to pat you on the back for taking control of this issue right now. At 40, you are the perfect age to turn around your eating and exercise habits and keep your heart healthy.

I agree with Susanc -- the first thing to do is to make a doctor's appointment, for a full checkup and advice. You want to know where you're starting from!! Then begin to figure out what sort of program or plan will work for you. For instance, are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work outside the home? Those things will affect the kinds of food you can prepare and the times you can exercise, so it's important to take them into consideration. Are you a three-meal-a-day person or a grazer? Do you want to work on this by yourself, with a friend, or in a larger group, such as Weight Watchers? Do you most appreciate a structured routine or the ultimate in flexibility?

In terms of exercise, what do you enjoy? Exercise only becomes painless if you can do something you also enjoy. For some, it's meditative time walking in the neighborhood, maybe listening to an iPod full of favorite tunes. For others, it's a treadmill or an elliptical trainer in front of a favorite television show; for others, it might be aerobics classes at a nearby gym. It all depends on what gets you going and keeps you enthusiastic! And then you just have to start with baby steps.

Here are seven great tips from the Mayo Clinic on getting and keeping your heart healthy:


I'm saluting you for your inspiration and your commitment. Keep that scrapbook handy when you need motivation -- heart disease is one legacy we want you to escape. Take care and please write back with your thoughts and more questions.

September 16, 2009 - 8:35am
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your question and welcome! And congratulations for being so proactive with your own health - good for you!

It's a good idea for you to have a full physical, especially with your family history and extra weight. I assume you have no symptoms of heart disease but a check up is probably good for your preventative health.

Losing weight is a great tool in increasing your heart health. So is exercise and stress management so if you can lose the weight you need to lose, as well as increase your healthy foods and decrease salty, fatty, sugary and processed foods then you're on your way. Start off with 15-20 minutes of exercising every day and build up your stamina.

Where you do live? There are free screenings around the country for heart health - if you give us your location we can help you out there, or do a google search yourself.

It might help to join a support group, like an exercise group. Do water aerobics or something fun and take a cooking class that is specifically geared towards healthy eating. Do you have a Whole Foods near you? They do free or low-cost cooking classes all the time!

I have added a couple of articles here for you to read, regarding heart health, including one that is specifically geared towards women and their hearts. I think they'll help you a lot.



Here is our page on heart disease, it'll give you symptoms and the many components of heart disease: http://www.empowher.com/condition/heart-disease

Fit Diva Jill has some excellent information regarding foods that are good for your heart as well as exercise options - check it out here : http://www.empowher.com/community/share/aim-heart-health-over-thin-thighs

Tell me what you think of them!

September 14, 2009 - 1:58pm
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