February is heart month, and not just because Valentine’s Day is right in the middle of it.
According to a 2009 statistic of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is still the # 1 killer for women in the United States with 24%, followed by ALL cancers with 22% and stroke with 6%.
While there is a genetic component to heart disease, many factors leading up to it like diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol are under our control. I am not even talking about weight. It is well-known that excess weight can lead to all of the above, and that even a moderated weight loss can reduce the risk.
And exercise is the not so secret weapon that can help in the management of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. When I see the barrage of pharmaceutical advertisement which promises help with all of the above, I am always struck by the qualifier “If diet and exercise is not enough, please ask your doctor if XYZ is right for you”. Sadly, the first half of this sentence is often conveniently blocked out, and XYZ is the preferred choice.
Please give “diet and exercise” a chance. It can help manage medical problems, does not have a list of side effects in fine print, and will make you feel a lot better.