Bonney's Blog: Women and Heart Disease

By: Bonney Bowman Email
By: Bonney Bowman Email

We had a great meeting last night at Nebraska Heart Institute. Thanks to the members of the public who joined our group of Go Red Challengers. It was neat to hear everyone's questions and see how heart disease effects all of us differently.

Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, but unfortunately, women are not as aware of the symptoms of a heart attack as men. We learned last night at NHI that even doctors don't always diagnose women as suffering from a heart attack - at least not as readily as a man. Your chances of surviving a heart attack increase the quicker you're diagnosed and treated, so ladies, know your symptoms if you're at risk.

Heart Attack Symptoms in Women:
Chest pain
Shortness of breath
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
Unusual fatigue or weakness
Unusual sweating
Swelling legs, ankles or feet
Slow or racing heart beat
Insomnia
Nausea

My week has been going pretty well. I've got my exercise routine down, so I do some sort of physical activity every day except Tuesday. I've had fun mixing it up, trying new classes at Madonna ProActive and stopping myself from getting burned out. On Sunday, fellow challenger Lindsey Cox and I met at ProActive to work out together, and it was a lot of fun. We pushed each other to do more reps, add weights, and pick up the pace. The result was a tough, but enjoyable work out. We were both sore the next day, which is proof we worked hard!

I still occasionally stumble in my diet - not big, catastrophic falls, but just little bumps here and there. I was really stressed out a couple nights ago after a particularly tough day at work, and I was thinking about stopping at the store for something sweet to snack on. But then I started to think, why do I want that? How will it make me feel? Will it actually help my stress level? Or is it just a knee-jerk reaction? I realized I didn't actually want the sweet snack I had been imagining. In fact, I really didn't have a taste for it at all. But because it's my habit to stress eat, that was the first thing I turned to. I'm starting to recognize the patterns that lead to pitfalls, and that recognition allows me to make better choices.

With Halloween right around the corner, it's going to be important to really think about what I'm putting in my mouth if I want to stay on track. It's so easy to eat a handful candy here, a cupcake there, and before you realize it you've eaten a thousand empty calories. I'm not saying you can't sample the candy you hand out to trick-or-treaters - just limit it to 1 or 2 pieces, instead of a whole bag :)

Have a great week!


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