We’ve all heard this before. Stop smoking. Lose weight. Make better food choices. Exercise more. If you haven’t been exposed to these ad nauseam, not sure where you’ve been. If lulled into a deep sleep by their repetition; WAKE UP.
THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES
Women have been neglected woefully so, when it comes to heart disease–especially risk factors. Clinical trials as well, are usually based upon white males. That’s changing–but not soon enough. Being non-white and non-male, this is a topic I choose to spend time on. You may ask “what place does this have on a fitness blog?” I could respond in many ways; but I’ll set aside my sarcastic self, at least temporarily.
As a dialysis nurse, I was confronted daily with the effects of diabetes and hypertension. These two respectively, are the number one and two contributors to kidney failure. If you are African-American, possibly Hispanic, start with high blood pressure. But what does this mean to women specifically? How does this affect women and heart disease? Does weight play a role? Short answers–more than you know to the 1st and 2nd question; yep to the third. If you’re up for more in-depth info, read on.
According to one study, women face obesity challenges more than our male counterparts. When I first read this, I was skeptical. However think about what we as women face, that men don’t. Onset of puberty accompanied by menstruation, pregnancy and childbirth (often more than once or twice), and menopause. Some of these are controllable, others not so much. Now the add-ons. Stress, depression (diagnosed more often in women), and food choices; perhaps lack thereof. Clearer picture of why we face weight issues? One more–allowing societal images to dictate how we should look–most likely male driven. Ok, scratch most likely. Darn that old sarcastic self–it rears its ugly head again.
OUR UNIQUE STRESSORS
WOMAN, perhaps mother, wife, entrepreneur, breadwinner, and caregiver, not to mention the expectation of being a size 2 five minutes after childbirth…you get the idea. Again, these are the add-ons. Think these are major contributors to elevated blood pressure? What about diabetes? Obesity? Is it any wonder why statistically, women are more at risk for heart disease? We haven’t even touched on ethnic differentials, sleep deprivation and effects on BP, alcohol consumption, and metabolic syndrome–to name a few. All of which have far different ramifications for women, than men.
Other stories though, for another time.
So what is the factor, minus the risk? Time for some more short answers. You, choice, and targeted education. Short enough?
All for now. Keep up and keep at it.
Questions? Comments? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org