Georgia facility stresses heart-healthy lifestyle year-round

Cardiac care should be 12 months of the year, not just in February

February is American Heart Month, but a cardiac care facility in Warner Robins stresses heart health year-round.

Rachel Morris, who oversees Houston Healthcare's Cardiac Rehab Center, told WMAZ it's about taking care of yourself.

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Even if we’re genetically predisposed to a heart problem, she said, we need to “watch our salty foods and sometimes our sugar because diabetes is a big thing we're seeing with cardiovascular disease — they kind of go hand in hand."

WMAZ talked to Linda Hanselman, who rides the bikes at the rehab center a year after having a heart attack.

"I had a birthday on Tuesday and a heart attack on Saturday" last year, Hanselman told WMAZ. That Saturday, she underwent open heart surgery. But Hanselman thought she was just having a panic attack.

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Men and women usually have different symptoms of a heart attack, and women are more likely not to have chest pains.

Women's symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, can include:

  • Neck, jaw, shoulder, upper back or abdominal discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in one or both arms
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Indigestion

Men's symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, can include:

  • Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms that may spread to your neck, jaw or back
  • Nausea, indigestion, heartburn or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week to keep your heart healthy.

"No one really plans on having any kind of heart event. It's a traumatic event,” Morris told WMAZ. But her rehab center helps patients get back into their routine and figure out what their new normal is.