Aging gracefully isn't just about your looks

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Also featured in this segment was Dr. Poormina Sood, Director of the Women's Heart Health Initiative of Abbott Vascular.

Tips for daily living from The American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement

Make Easy Lifestyle Changes. For example:

  • Look for short breaks each day (approx. 10-30 minutes) to implement heart healthy activities such as walking or other types of enjoyable physical activity

  • Take the Go Red Heart Checkup at www.GoRedForWomen.org to learn your heart disease risk. Once you're on the site, register to receive a free monthly email with recipes, health news, inspiring stories and more.

    >> Plan quick and simple healthy meals
    >> Know your family heart health history

    Tips for Women at Work:

  • Add extra walks to and from the water cooler

  • Take ten minute walks between meetings

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator

  • Bring healthy snacks

  • Take time for lunch and eat at regular intervals versus skipping meals

  • Make time for physical activity - go to the gym and bring your favorite book or office materials to read or workout at home watching your favorite show

    Tips for Moms on the Go:

  • Plan meals in advance - visit americanheart.org for recipes from a number of heart-healthy cookbooks and use the online grocery list builder to quickly identify heart-healthy products to add to your grocery list

  • Set up "physical activity time" on a daily basis

  • Walk around your neighborhood or in your office

  • Run up and down the stairs

  • Do an exercise video

  • Walk when doing errands and park farther from your destination

  • Take your kids to the park and identify play time activities that help keep you fit

  • Join a walking group or ask friends to join you in daily walking

  • Work out when your child is at practice or extracurricular activities

  • Exercise while watching your favorite TV show

    Tips for Traveling for Work/Play:

  • Plan a physical activity routine

  • Airports and malls are great places to get in a brisk walk around the terminal or from one end of the mall to the other

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Take time to stretch while on the flight

  • Exercise in your hotel room - simple stretches or other exercise like sit ups and push ups

  • Take advantage of physical fitness facilities located in the hotel

  • Pack heart-healthy snacks, fruits, and know how to manage your snack triggers

  • Pack sneakers and comfortable clothes for working out

  • For frequent travel keep an extra pair of tennis shoes already packed in your bag

    Love Your Heart: Relaxation Tips:

  • Keep a journal BR>
  • Reduce stress: Plan a technology-free weekend balanced with active sports, swimming, skiing, horse-back riding, or other fun physical activityBR>
  • Celebrate your successes with healthy rewards like a massage or facialBR>
  • Read a book

    Heart attack warning signs for women, from Go Red For Women:
    Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most of them start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often the people affected aren't sure what's wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are some of the signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:

  • Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

  • Shortness of breath. This feeling may occur with or without chest discomfort.

  • Other signs: These may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

    As with men, women's most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms PARTICULARLY SHORTNESS OF BREATH, NAUSEA/VOMITING, AND BACK OR JAW PAIN.

    If you or someone you are with has chest discomfort, especially with one or more of the other signs, don't wait longer than five minutes before calling for help. Call 9-1-1. Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive - up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. The staff members are also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. And you will get treated faster in the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.

    If you're the one having symptoms, and you can't access emergency medical services (EMS), have someone drive you to the hospital right away. Don't drive yourself, unless you have absolutely no other option.

    About Valerie Ramsey
    Valerie Ramsey is a woman who always looks ahead and asks What's Next? She has had at least four successful careers - including the modeling career she began in her 60s. She's also an author - her book is called "Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best At Any Age". Valerie is a spokesperson for the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women Movement.

    About Dr. Poornima Sood
    Dr. Poornima Sood is a physician and director of clinical research at Abbott Vascular and a leader of Abbott Vascular's Women's Heart Health Initiative. Valerie and Dr. Sood are featured speakers at the American Heart Association Go Red For Women Luncheon taking place in San Francisco Friday.

    For more information about Go Red For Women, visit www.GoRedForWomen.org or call 1-888-MY-HEART.

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