Heart Healthy

strawberryheartsFebruary 18th, 1972.  I am 43. How did this happen?!

 

Feigned-shock aside, I know that I am at that middle-age point (I *hope* it’s only the middle!) where I really need to be taking care of myself and my health.  I’ve already had many of the you-are-now-forty-and-need-these tests like a mammogram, colonoscopy, numerous CT scans and MRIs – you name it, and I’ve probably had it.  But my family history is one that I can’t overlook.  The two biggest culprits in our family?  Obesity and heart disease.  Obesity scared me enough to have weight loss surgery.  Heart disease scares me enough to really pay attention to what I’m doing now – as a grown up.

 

I’ve got a grown-up body with grown-up health concerns. It’s time to really start paying attention to my heart.

 

I wanted to learn more about heart disease, so I visited the American Heart Association website and found this heart attack risk calculator, which helps measure your risk for heart disease within the next ten years.  I fully expected to get a pretty poor report, but surprisingly, I did not.  What I found:

 

  • Blood Pressure at 120/80 is good.
  • My total cholesterol at 208 isn’t great, but it’s just over the “desired” range of 200 or under.
  • My bad cholesterol(LDL)is at 118, which is in the desirable range (yay, me!).
  • My good cholesterol (HDL) is at 77, which puts me in the low-risk category (yay me, again!)

 

So at this point, you’re probably reading this thinking I am in pretty good shape, which I am.  However, the one dreaded factor that I couldn’t avoid was the waist measurement.  Part of this is due to excess skin from my gastric bypass, but mostly, I just carry a lot of weight in my midsection.  Sure, I can tuck some of it away visually with body shapers, but you can’t fool the American Heart Association, which reminds me that I have abdominal obesity.  I suppose it’s good that only one section of my body can be categorized like that, but it’s unfortunately a well-known risk to carry around weight in the midsection.

 

Time for some sit-ups and crunches.  Ugh. The good news?  Overall, I am at low risk right now.  But somehow, that test doesn’t make me feel oodles of happiness.

 

So more physical activity, more veggies, and more vitamins are in my feature. Just a few small changes in my daily routine will go a long way towards keeping that risk on the low-side.  And I’m committed to my heart health, so it’s going to happen.

 

Want to take your own risk assessment test?  CLICK HERE to visit the American Heart Association website and calculate your own risk.  In honor of this February, where we celebrate our hearts and our love of each other, let’s keep our hearts healthy and strong!