Heart disease may not be something you think about, particularly if you are active and healthy, but after surviving a heart attack at just 41 years of age Amy Heinl knows first hand that heart disease doesn’t discriminate.
“I had no warning signs, I exercised regularly, I have no family history of heart disease, for this to happen to me it can happen to anyone else,” says Heinl.
Now a Go Red for Women spokesperson, this inspiring woman gives her tips for starting off the month on the path to a healthier heart.
Know the symptoms
There are many symptoms of a heart attack besides chest pain and as Heinl says, “women often ignore the signs our bodies are giving us that something is wrong.” Excessive fatigue, pain in the neck and shoulder area, loss of appetite, and indigestion are all symptoms of a heart attack and should be taken seriously.
Start with small changes
Whether you want to prevent heart disease, reduce your risk, or live a healthy life after a heart attack, small changes such as eating healthy and exercising can make a large impact on your heart health. Even just taking some more time for yourself each day can help. Try following these 10 heart-healthy rules this February!
You can come back stronger and healthier after a heart attack
“I want people to know that you can go back to a healthy lifestyle after a heart attack,” says Heinl. And since she ran a 5K just 3 months after having emergency heart surgery, I'd say that's a pretty great example of strength and perseverance.
So wear red this Friday and make a point to start February off on the right foot in regards to heart health.
“Instead of going out to dinner on Friday, make a fun event for family and friends and cook at home,” says Heinl. Or spread the word to your coworkers by bringing some healthy red-colored snacks (strawberries, tomatoes, red bell peppers) to the office tomorrow!
Even just making an effort to have a salad instead of pizza for lunch makes a difference.
Check out the Go Red for Women site for more information.