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Love your Heart: AAMC Cardiologists Share Their Best Tips

Jan 27, 2016 02:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Who is better suited to offer you advice on how to keep your heart at its best than a cardiologist? This Heart Month we check in with three cardiologists from Anne Arundel Medical Center's Heart and Vascular Institute who offer their advice for staying heart healthy while juggling a busy home and work life.

Jennifer Brady, MD

Pictured above

If you could only give one piece of advice to women about heart health, what would it be?

Know your numbers. By regularly monitoring your blood pressure and weight, as well as lab results like cholesterol, you can better manage and be active in your heart health. Ultimately, you will take control of reducing your risk of heart disease. If you know your numbers, AAMC has a quick, free way for you to find out your “heart age” and risk factors by visiting askAAMC.org/heart.

What’s the one thing women need to specifically be aware of when it comes to heart health?

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three women’s deaths each year. Women need to be aware of the many different signs and symptoms of a heart attack so they can seek immediate medical attention.

How do you juggle the demands of work and home?

By having a reliable support system of family and friends I am able to achieve a balance of caring for both patients and my family.

Barbara Hutchinson, MD

How do you eat heart healthy during a busy work week?

I plan ahead for my week by preparing meals on the weekend. I prepare at least three different meat dishes, starches, and vegetables on the weekend. Then during the week I am able to have different combinations. My day begins with dinner because I am able to work it off during the day with my activity. I often work through lunch because I am not hungry, but may have fruit. I then have something very light for dinner with a cup of tea. Essentially, I have dinner in the morning and breakfast in the evening.

If you could only give one piece of advice for heart health, what would it be?

Eating a heavy meal late at night then going to bed one to two hours later is the ticket to obesity.

What’s your go-to quick heart-healthy snack?

I love fruits of all kinds, and I will choose them over things like potato chips, which I do not like. I often drink water or 100 percent fruit juice. I don’t drink sodas or alcohol.


 

Jennifer Brown, MD

How do you juggle the demands of work and home?

I have two kids under five, work 50 hours a week and my husband is deployed with the military to Afghanistan. Organization, structure, and balance are essential. I try to be efficient and designate responsibilities when possible. The key is making sure I am healthy. This means finding time to exercise, getting adequate sleep, and fueling my body with a heart-healthy diet.

If you could only give one piece of advice for heart health, what would it be?

I think nutrition is our most powerful medication. Every Sunday morning, you will see me in my kitchen preparing healthy snacks. I try to avoid eating out or not bringing my lunch as much as possible. I am more likely to make bad food choices in the cafeteria.

What’s the one thing women need to specifically be aware of when it comes to heart health?

Signs of heart disease in women can be subtle. You may feel more fatigued or short of breath. The most important thing is to develop a good relationship with your doctor and seek medical attention when something just doesn’t feel right.

To learn more about other choices you can make to help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, visit askAAMC.org/heart.