Honoring your Physical Heart
When’s the last time you thought about your heart? This body organ beats every second of the day, 30 million beats per year. It speeds when you’re scared, skips a beat when you fall in love, slows down when you meditate and relax. Research shows that the human heart has a brain of it’s own and it's composed of about 40,000 neurons. Here are some important facts about heart disease to assist your journey of understanding your own heart.
Learn Facts About Heart Disease
• Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally.
• More than 1 in 3 (83 million) U.S. adults currently live with some form of cardiovascular disease.
• Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease.
• There are many heart conditions including acute coronary syndrome, angina, aortic aneurysm and dissection, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects, heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease… and more.
• Total costs of cardiovascular diseases in the United States were estimated at $444 billion in 2010.
• Treatment accounts for $1 of every $6 spent on health care in this country.
• Stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, happens when a clot blocks blood supply to the brain or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.
• More people die of heart disease than all the cancers combined.
•250,000 Americans die annually of sudden cardiac death, which is different from a heart attack.
• Less than 10 percent of patients who experience cardiac arrest survive if they experience it outside of a hospital
• Know the difference between a heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest!
• College basketball star Hank Gathers (1990) and professional basketball All-Star Reggie Lewis (1993) brought more awareness to sudden cardiac death in athletes, but more research must be done!
• Educate yourself about the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).
• Sudden cardiac death affects approximately one in 44,000 collegiate athletes per year.
Flight Tools for Preventing Heart Disease
• Stop smoking! Even social smokers who smoke less than five cigarettes a day may show early signs of cardiovascular disease.
• Dean Ornish, M.D. created a proven lifestyle program that heals hearts through nutrition, fitness, stress management and support.
• American Heart Association typically recommends a Mediterranean style diet.
• American Heart Association recommends the D.A.S.H. eating plan (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) for those living with heart disease.
• Incorporate meditation and mindfulness into your daily life:
- Stress and anxiety has an affect on your entire body and can be a risk factor for heart disease.
- In Australia, a link was found between depression, social isolation, lack of support and heart disease.
- Mindfulness is a ‘medicine’ for both mind and heart health.
- Daily meditation may lower your risk factors for heart disease.
Flight's Empowering Women’s Fight Against Heart Disease
• Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack can present themselves differently for men and women
• From my experience in speaking with survivors, men feel the sharp chest pain more than women. Please take the time to read other symptoms of a heart attack below.
• Every 90 seconds a woman suffers a heart attack, but according to the American Heart Association only half of those women call 9-1-1
• Call 9-1-1. Make the Call. Don’t Miss a Beat.
- Chest Pain or Discomfort
- Unusual Upper Body Discomfort
- Shortness of Breath
- Breaking out in a Cold Sweat
- Unusual or Unexplained Fatigue (tiredness)
- Light-Headedness or Sudden Dizziness
- Nausea (feeling sick to the stomach)
• Watch “Just a Little Heart Attack”video from the Go Red for Woman campaign of the American Heart Association