I’ve partnered with Henry Ford Health System to discuss the importance of being proactive when it comes to maintaining your health. 

As women and mothers, we put a lot of stress and importance on taking care of others. Sometimes we are so busy crossing items off our to do lists, shuttling from one activity to another, caring for littles and balancing the rest of life’s nuances that we put our own health on the back burner. I get that life is busy and the thought of squeezing another appointment into your calendar is daunting, but YOU matter too. Your health is just as important as everyone else in your family. You can’t take care of others if you’re not healthy.

Recently I had a pretty big health scare that really made me take a step back and evaluate my own health and self-care.  Here’s the thing: I had some signs and symptoms that were cluing me in that something wasn’t quite right, but instead of digging deeper, I shrugged them off. In a recent study, it was found that this isn’t uncommon when it comes to health issues, but especially with heart attack symptoms in women. In interviews with 30 women, ages 30 to 55, who had been hospitalized after a heart attack, many said they put off seeking help as they admitted that they feared that they were overreacting or would be seen as hypochondriacs.

Listen ladies, if something doesn’t feel right or your intuition is buzzing, don’t ignore it. Be proactive and talk to your doctor. Don’t wait for something to land you in the hospital to finally take the steps to ensure your own health. I don’t say this to scare you, I say this because I’ve been there. It’s not worth the stress, the scare or the tears.

My recent experience is now serving as a catalyst to make sure that I’m taking the steps to ensure my own health is in good order, to stay up to date on health screenings and appointments and to make more lifestyle improvements to support healthier lifestyle habits. I’ve set up follow-up appointments with my doctors and I’ve also made heart health a priority by taking the Henry Ford Health Heart Risk Assessment.

Heart disease remains the third leading cause of death for women ages 35 to 44, and it is the second leading cause of death for women ages 45 to 54. Staying proactive when it comes to heart health is of utmost importance. While this isn’t the first time I’ve taken the heart health risk assessment, I like being able to reflect on changes throughout the past year.

The health heart risk assessment provided by Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute is a quick 5 minute test that allows you to find out the real age of your heart, discover your heart risk and determine your heart risk factors to help you live healthier and longer.  Henry Ford Heart & Vascular Institute is one of the oldest and most experienced cardiovascular programs in the nation with a team of physicians and practitioners who have specialized in advanced treatments for heart and vascular disease to provide you and your family members with the most personalized and intensive heart health care.

The results of my test allowed me to take it a step further when it comes to ensuring continued good heart health and provided me with actionable tips and ways to continue to lower my risk of heart attack.

Life’s Simple 7 are some of the most important steps that you can take to lead a more heart healthy lifestyle.

7 Steps to Lower Risk of Heart Attack:

  1. Manage your blood pressure
  2. Control your cholesterol
  3. Reduce your blood sugar
  4. Get active
  5. Eat better
  6. Lose weight
  7. Stop smoking

For women over the age of 30, a few of the most critical steps you can take to manage your health (especially heart health) are:

  1. Find a primary care doctor that you trust (Henry Ford Health System has a large selection of doctors that you can search here) to keep up with routine screenings and physicals. Routine physicals are so important for managing your health and providing a baseline when it comes to important numbers (cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.)
  2. Know your numbers when it comes to your health. Routinely have your cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, activity level, etc. checked in order to more closely monitor your health and heart risks.
  3. Take the Henry Ford Health Heart Risk Assessment to be more aware of your heart health and manage risks.
  4. If you have an immediate family member that has suffered a heart attack or stroke before the age of 55 (male) or 65 (female), consider consulting with a cardiologist for a complete risk assessment.

For more healthy living tips and tools, visit Henry Ford Health System LiveWell blog! 

Have you taken the Heart Risk Assessment quiz? Were you surprised by your results?

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Henry Ford Health System to discuss the importance of preventative health when it comes to maintaining your health. 

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