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You probably know by now that sitting all day comes with a high risk of heart disease. “Sitting is the new smoking” they say. And while the science is not in agreement on all issues– some studies say sitting for 8 hours is bad for you even if you exercise afterwards, some say 60 minutes of moderate to intense activity may counteract the effects of sitting too long–one thing is clear, we need to take care of our hearts. Here are a few steps you can take to keep your heart healthy:

Get up and Get Active – at least 30 minutes for several days per week or try to incorporate some physical activity in your daily commute. Small lifestyle changes, like choosing active transportation, can have huge health benefits.  Being active doesn’t need to be time set aside for exercising.  You can easily add active time to your day by choosing to walk or bike rather than drive for short trips, walk during your lunch break, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.  Walking to the bus stop or from a distant parking spot to the station counts too—and it all adds up to better heart health!

Know your ABCS: Aspirin therapy, Blood pressure control, Cholesterol measurements, Stop Smoking

Eat a healthy diet – easier said than done, but here are a few helpful tips

Know how to recognize a heart attack

Heart attack symptoms in women and men differ, with women being more likely to experience shortness of breath while men typically experience chest pains.  Here are some of the symptoms:

Women:

–    Shortness of breath with without chest pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the chest that is intermittent or lasts for a few minutes.

–    Pain or discomfort in arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach, nausea/vomiting

–    Breaking out in a cold sweat

Men :

The typical heart attack symptoms in men are chest pain, chest discomfort or pressure. Other less common symptoms include discomfort in arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach, nausea/vomiting, lightheadedness, and shortness of breath.

What to do if you have a heart attack

If you or someone you are with experiences the symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 right away.  Do not drive yourself or someone else to the hospital unless you have no other options.  Emergency medical services are equipped to treat the victim on the way to the hospital.

What to do if you have a heart attack when driving

If you experience symptoms, pull over in a safe area, call 911 immediately. Don’t drive yourself to the hospital unless that is the only way to get help.

-Chew an aspirin

-Try to calm down, breath deep and slow

-Cool your body’s temperature

While these actions help, they will not stop a heart attack. Your safest bet is to get to a hospital as soon as possible.

Stay healthy and safe!

 

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