Heart Disease survivor shares her story, tips to help your heart ahead of Wear Red Day

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Go Red for Women Campaign gets underway in February. The campaign is fighting women's number one killer - heart disease.

Stefani Spainhower, a heart disease survivor, stopped by 41 Action News to talk about  her experience overcoming the disease.

She gave viewers some important tips to help their hearts:

1. Stop Smoking - Avoiding tobacco smoke is the best thing you can do to maintain your health.  If you smoke, get help to quite.  
2. Lose Weight - If you have too much body fat, especially at the waist, you have a higher risk for health problems.  Work with your doctor to determine your healthy weight and develop a plan to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
3. Get Active - Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.  Moderate to vigorous activities include brisk walking, jogging, running, basketball, rowing, swimming, soccer and tennis.
4. Eat Better - A heart-healthy diet takes into account proper energy balance.  This means balancing what you eat with the energy that you burn.
5. Control Cholesterol - You should keep your total cholesterol under 200 mg/dL.  Aim to eat less than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol each day.  Get your blood cholesterol level checked by a healthcare professional at least once every five years.  If your total blood cholesterol level is 240 milligrams per deciliter or higher, it's too high.  
6. Manage Blood Pressure - Have your blood pressure checked regularly.  High blood pressure makes your heart work harder.  That puts more strain on the heart and arteries.  You have high blood pressure if two or more of your readings are 140/90 mm Hg or higher.  
7. Reduce Blood Sugar - A healthy non-diabetic adult should have a reading of less than 100 mg/dL.  If your fasting blood sugar level is between 100 mg/dL and 125 mg/dL, you are said to have "pre-diabetes" and then your risk of developing heart disease (including heart attack) or diabetes is higher.  

To hear more of what she had to say, click on the video player above.
 

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