Heart Health Basics

Meet Your Heart

There's so much information about heart health, it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? Right here. Learn the basics about how your heart functions and most importantly, how to help keep it healthy.

Are you a heart event survivor? Look for this icon to find content just for you.

Are you a heart event survivor?
"I am thankful for each day and the opportunities it brings to share my experiences with others."
"I come from a family that has experienced the reality of heart disease for generations. My grandmother died early from heart disease, as did my mother and her six siblings. Even with this strong family history, I was in denial and felt I would somehow dodge the bullet. I was not as vigilant as I should have been with my own health. I became overweight, did not exercise, and failed to find the best ways to deal with my stress.

It should not have been a surprise when I had a heart attack at the early age of 52, on Christmas Eve. I was quickly diagnosed and life-lifted to Duke Hospital, where I underwent surgery to receive a cardiac stent. Needless to say - this experience was a wake-up call for me. I realized I was one of the lucky ones, so I took it upon myself to learn everything that I could about the heart and heart disease. I have been blessed with a beautiful family that I want to enjoy for years to come. It has been 10 years since that encounter. During that time I have lost 80 lbs.... and I am determined to keep it off with proper eating habits and exercise. My Bayer® Aspirin is part of my routine to stay healthy.

I now look at each day as a gift. I've been able to enjoy so many of the blessings that I might have missed out on: time with my wonderful supportive husband, seeing my son develop into a man that we are both so proud of, my daughter's graduation from high school and college, her marriage, my wonderful 3 year old grandson, and the delightful times with my sisters and friends at other events. I have worked with high school science teachers and students for years. I have the unique opportunity to assist students in gaining knowledge of the heart structure, function and health.

Currently, I work at NC Central University as the Outreach Coordinator for the BRITE Program. In this position I am able to work with students through out the state of NC. Over the past few years I have taken it upon myself to develop a Module to teach students about the heart called "The Beat Goes On" which focuses on the cardiovascular system. It identifies the genetic and environmental factors that influence an individual's likelihood of developing heart disease. Students learn about Sudden Cardiac Arrest and use EKG sensors to make graphical recordings of their heart's electrical events. I am thankful for each day and the opportunities it brings to share my experiences with others."
That's how many times the average heart beats each day.
Know the early warning signs, and what to do if you experience them.
What really happens during a heart attack?
What are the factors that compromise your heart health? What can you do about it?
Your family history can increase your risk of heart disease.
Get tips and tools to help you emerge even stronger than before.
How aspirin does more than just relieve headaches.
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of heart disease.
Is your pain a warning sign of heart attack or a bout of indigestion?
How to plan and start and exercise program.
Your prescription for a healthier heart and a better quality of life overall.
If you tend to forget to take your medications, here are 7 tips that may help.
Chances are you've heard of the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Learn more about these "good fats".
The two most important omega-3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA because they're the ones your body can't make on its own. But how do they help your heart?
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least 2 times a week—particularly fatty fish. Some people choose fish oil supplemeents to get their omega-3s instead.
Ask your doctor about the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oil supplements. Print this
To get more omega-3 fatty acids, you can take an omega-3 supplement, or eat more fish—but you can also try these fun ways to boost the heart-health appeal of every meal.