Friday, February 1, 2008

Seeing Red

"Go Red For Women is a movement passionately dedicated to helping women fight back against heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women in America. By putting our passion together with positive action, we can continue to educate other women about their risks and help them find their own personal path to better health for life." - from Friday, February 1st is "Go Red For Women" Day. Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women in America? Taking nothing away from the support we give other worthy women's causes like breast cancer and domestic violence, finding out about your cardiovascular health is something that can have a huge impact on your future. We may have the power to save our own lives. I know that I need to pay more attention to this. My mom is a healthy 77 year old, but she lost many family members to heart disease and stroke, many before the age of 55: her father, sisters and brothers, and nieces and nephews. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are common on my mother's side of the family. Um..... I'm a part of my mother's side of the family right? Here is a secret: my total cholesterol level is over 260. I have not been back to the doctor to have it checked again since I found out two years ago. This is a BAD thing. It is not in keeping with my plan for better living. I will note that my blood pressure is in the low to normal range... for now. I also am carrying around an extra fifty pounds and do not get enough exercise. This behavior must stop now. Feel free to call me out and remind me I said this. I would ask you to stop by the website above and take the "Go Red Heart Check Up", Check out the "Choose To Move" section which features exercise tips, look for some healthy recipes, and read the personal stories there. Maybe you could even share your own story. If you don't get to the site - at least read the questions below copied from there, and think about whether or not you know the answers. Most importantly what it might mean for you and your family if you don't. Cholesterol *What is my total cholesterol level? *What is my triglyceride level? *What are my HDL (“good”) and LDL (“bad”) levels? *What is cholesterol and how may it affect my health? *What is a healthy cholesterol level? *How often should I have my cholesterol checked? High Blood Pressure *What is my blood pressure? *What is my systolic number? *What is my diastolic number? *What is high blood pressure and how may it affect my health? *How often should I have my blood pressure checked? Obesity and Body Mass Index *What is my weight? *What is my height? *What is my Body Mass Index (BMI)? *What BMI range is healthy for me? *At what weight would I be considered overweight? Obese? Smoking *How can I quit smoking? *How can I avoid gaining weight after I quit smoking? Diabetes *What is my fasting blood glucose (sugar)? *What is diabetes and how may it affect my heart health? *Diabetes runs in my family. How can I prevent it? *I have diabetes. How can I control it? *I have diabetes, and I know that increases my risk of heart disease and stroke. Should I be on medication(s) to help lower or manage my risks? I like reading your blogs, and I like that you come visit mine. If you're gone it just won't be the same without you. GO RED!

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