How to Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Are You Heart Smart?

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LOA franchise holding offers tips to reduce risk factors for heart disease in women.


February is American Heart Month. Though deaths have declined, heart disease continues to be the #1 killer among women — one woman dies every minute from cardiovascular disease. Often perceived as an “older woman's disease,” heart disease is the leading cause of death among women age 65 years and older. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it is the third leading cause of death among women ages 25 to 44 and the second-leading cause of death among women 45 to 64 years.

Despite these alarming statistics, heart disease is largely preventable. Women have tremendous power to learn how to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease and lead a longer, healthier life. Lady of America wants to make sure you have the necessary tools to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.

“Eating healthy (fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and good fats) and exercising are the best weapons you have to lower your risk of developing heart disease,” said Natalie Brabner, Lady of America’s Official Fitness Trainer. “Controlling and preventing risk factors for heart disease are also important for women who are already living with heart disease.”

Doctors confer that by eating right, being physically active, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight, women can learn how to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 82%.The American Heart Association, in collaboration with the American College of Sports Medicine, recommends a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, three to four days a week and a vigorous-intensity workout for a minimum of 20 minutes three days a week.

What type of exercise is best for reducing risk factors for heart disease in women? Brabner recommends any aerobic activity — spinning, elliptical, aerobics, dance classes, swimming, jogging, jump rope, cycling and walking, for example. “Find what you enjoy and strive for 75 to 85% of your maximum heart rate each time you exercise,” she said.

Brabner also suggests adding strength training to the workout program. “Try lifting two or three times a week with a challenging weight, doing up to 12 reps for each exercise you perform."

Lady of America and its brands — LOA Fitness for Women, Ladies Workout Express and HCOA — offer an integrated selection of programs and services to meet the fitness guidelines, including group fitness classes, strength and cardio training, personal training and nutritional advice.

If you are inactive and/or have had a coronary event — be it a stroke or heart attack — Lady of America suggests you talk with your doctor about setting up a specific exercise regimen and heart rate goals. “Make common-sense choices. I believe in ‘everything in moderation.’ Make small changes, set realistic goals and have realistic expectations,” Brabner added.

To help you get heart-healthy smart, Lady of America wants you to know the signs of a stroke or heart attack:

Signs a Heart Attack May be 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 of discomfort. 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 5 minutes before calling 911 for help.

Stroke Warning Signs
Stroke is a medical emergency. Learn to recognize a stroke, because any delay in treatment can lead to brain damage. Warning signs may include:

  •     Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  •     Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  •     Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  •     Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  •     Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Not all these warning signs occur in every stroke. If you or someone you are with has one or more stroke symptoms that last more than a few minutes, immediately call 911.

About Lady of America Franchise Holding LLC
For more than 27 years, LOA Franchise Holding LLC (formerly Lady of America Franchise Corporation) has been an innovator in the constantly evolving business of women’s fitness. LOAFC was established in 1984 with the goal of providing a safe and rewarding environment to women working on their fitness and lifestyle goals while enjoying the company and support of other women. Today the full-service chain of women’s fitness centers has 95 franchises in operation across 45 states and nine countries under the brands LOA Fitness for Women, Lady of America, Ladies Workout Express, Workout Express and HCOA Fitness.

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Debra Kronowitz
Lady of America
800-833-5239 7833
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