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Downloaded April 10, 2015 from http://womenshealth.about.com/od/weightlossforwomen/fl/Your-247-Guide-to-Good-Health.htm.

Updated March 27, 2015. By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show.

Staying healthy isn’t just about eating a nutritious breakfast or getting in a good workout at the gym. It’s about everything you do from the time you wake up until the time you hit the sack at the end of the day. Below, I’ve offered seven tips to help you stay on track all day long.

1) When the alarm sounds: Focus on joy.

Not me! I mean the things in your life that are good, positive, fun. You know, the things that make you smile and bring you happiness. Here’s what I want you to do: Every morning when you wake up—before you even roll out of bed—spend a few minutes taking inventory of the good things in your life. Your spouse, a fulfilling job, your crazy but adorable children, your friends, how you felt after last night’s Spin class, an upcoming vacation, and so on. This is such a simple but powerful exercise that puts you in the right frame of mind for the coming day, and whatever challenges might lie ahead of you.

2) Before you leave for work: Have breakfast.

Here are a few good reasons to rise and dine: Eating a morning meal helps get your metabolism going. It also helps steady your blood sugar. And, it starts you off on the right foot—when you enjoy a healthy and balanced breakfast, you’re more likely to bypass office treats, candy and other foods that can ruin your diet. If you’re watching your weight, aim for a meal that contains no more than 250 calories and consists of protein and high-quality carbs. This power pair will keep you satisfied and energize you.

3) During the workday: Don’t be a desk potato.

Find ways to be more active throughout the day—that could mean taking a phone call standing instead of sitting at your desk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking to chat with a coworker instead of firing off an email. These little movements add up over the course of the day and could translate to extra pounds lost at the end of the year.

4) When you need an afternoon break: Make time for tea.

Instead of heading to the vending machine for an afternoon energy boost in the form of chocolate or chips, make yourself a cup of tea. Unsweetened green or black tea is a great pick because it’s lower in caffeine than coffee, which could interfere with sleep. If you must get your afternoon coffee fix, try a mix of half decaf and half regular to limit caffeine.

5) At dinnertime: Cook at home.

Sure, it’s easy to dial up delivery or dart through the drive through, but you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by firing up your own stove! Cooking at home allows you to control what goes into your meals, which means you also control the calories, fat, sugar and sodium. You’ll also save yourself some cash. And you’ll score some quality family bonding time! Keep in mind, a delicious dinner doesn’t have to be a big affair.

6) After dinner: Close the kitchen.

Avoid temptation by officially closing down your kitchen after dinner. Clean up, turn off the lights and head to another room in the house. This will help reduce nighttime nibbling.  Need a post-dinnertime distraction? Try a workout video, take a bath or give yourself a pedicure.

7) Before bed: Jot down your worries.

Don’t let stress keep you from snagging some much-needed shut-eye. Instead, jot down everything you have to do the following day—finish that work project, pay bills, call your mother—in a notebook. That way, you won’t forget anything and can finally hit the sack for some restful and restorative sleep and be ready to have another healthy day tomorrow!

The YMCA is here to help and is the perfect place for women to begin, re-commit, or continue an exercise routine to strengthen your spirit, mind and body. We’re friendly, smart, caring, and excited to work with you on your health goals. Our certified personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and wellness center instructors can design, lead, and suggest classes that best suit your wellness needs. And all YMCA staffs are CPR and first aid certified.

Here at the Y we have classes and programs that burn calories and get your pulse racing. We have a long list of choice classes like Yoga, Tabata, Group Cycling, RIPPED, Zumba, Turbo Kick, Water Fitness and many more on land or in the water* (*at selected locations) so you can find the classes that suit you best — high-intensity & high impact to low-intensity & low impact — we have classes for all fitness levels. And our expert wellness center instructors and personal trainers can design a personalized cardio and/or strength training program just for you. We even have nutrition consultations at some locations.

The YMCA suggests you check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin your exercise plan.

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Support a Cause that Matters Most to You

Many of us routinely give money to important causes that are close to our hearts. By doing so, we see the benefits of our generosity firsthand. However, with a little planning, a planned gift is ideal because you can choose assets that won’t be used until after your lifetime.

For those of you who’ve been left a bit skeptical of the economy, a planned gift is an excellent way for you to support a cause that matters most to you. These gifts require some planning and, often, help from a trusted expert. They can be made now to immediately support The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA’s needs or they can take effect in the future as a final way to leave your legacy.

Top five ways to be a philanthropist at The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA:

  1. Leave an outright gift, such as cash or an online donation. Often the most fulfilling gifts are those that allow you the satisfaction of helping us right now and witnessing the difference you can make. Simply call us at 757.223.7925 ext 203 to learn more about this giving option that supports our mission far into the future.
  2. Remember The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA in your will or living trust. Like many of our supporters, you may find the flexibility of naming The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA in your will or living trust appealing because you can change your mind at any time. By leaving a percentage of your estate to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, gifts in your will or living trust to family members and other loved ones remain proportional no matter how your estate fluctuates over the years.
  3. Provide support to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA with your bank and brokerage accounts. Most states allow you to designate loved ones and favorite causes to benefit from your bank and brokerage accounts after your lifetime. For us to benefit from your checking account, savings account or CDs, you must make them payable on death to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA. To leave us funds from your brokerage or investment accounts, you must place a transfer-on-death designation on them. In either case, you typically leave us all of the funds or you can designate a certain percentage, and we will have no rights to the funds until after your lifetime. Until then, you remain in control and are free to use the money in the accounts, change the beneficiaries or even close the accounts.
  4. Plan a gift of retirement plan assets to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA. You can feel good knowing that you’re helping to make a difference in a manner that puts your hard-earned dollars to work, and you’re not placing a large tax burden on your loved ones. Simply request a change-of-beneficiary form from your plan administrator.
  5. Leave a gift of life insurance. Naming The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA as beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy is revocable and flexible. Or, you may also name us as a contingent beneficiary and name a loved one as primary.

With a little planning, these solutions help ensure that our programs continue to benefit those in need well into the future. Plus, making a future gift is an affordable way to provide support to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, regardless of your income or estate size.

Take Action Today to Support a Cause Important to You

With good planning, you can find ways to support your favorite charities despite the condition of the economy. We are happy to work with you to find a gift that best fits your situation. Simply contact Danny Carroll at 757.223.7925 ext 203 or dcarroll@peninsulaymca.org today.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.
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The Giving Power of Social Media

In our noisy, hyper-connected world, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are just three of the many apps we interact with every day. From the stratospheric rise of emojis to endless mobile apps, we are inundated with pages and posts to like, share and follow.

The rise of technology allows our limitless interests to be shared with our family and friends. There’s a surprising amount of unconscious persuasion through social media—from the pages you like to the people and organizations you follow.

Consider your presence in the digital space and how your support can make a bigger difference than you ever imagined by simply “liking,” “sharing” or “following” The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA via social media. If you’ve ever taken a selfie and shared it, you know how quickly you can generate likes. Now consider how you can use social media to support the causes closest to your heart.

Get started in these three simple steps:

  1. “Follow” and “like” The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA on social media.
  2. Write a post and share why you choose to support The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.
  3. Share with your family and friends on social media why you made a gift to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

Harness the Giving Power of Social Media

Capture the spirit of doing good in your community and the causes you support. Contact Danny Carroll at 757.223.7925 ext 203 or dcarroll@peninsulaymca.org to learn how you can make a difference at The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

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Downloaded 4/26/2017 from: http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/best-fruits-weight-loss

Hoping to lose some weight or maintain pounds you’ve lost? It’s time to hit up the produce aisle and grab some fruit. Fruit not only helps target belly fat, but it can also reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Plus, fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber and other nutrients crucial for good health. Indeed, fruits are part of a well-balanced and healthy eating plan, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you can’t get to the grocery store, canned or frozen fruits are also nutritious options. Just be sure to choose ones without added sugar, syrup or other ingredients that pack on calories. And remember to combine your weight-loss plan with a daily exercise regimen (after speaking with your health care provider).

Here are some fruits to integrate into your eating plan that can help you shed pounds.

Watermelons

This juicy fruit is loaded with water and low in calories, making it ideal to eat for weight loss. Consuming watermelon will ensure you’re hydrated. And when you’re getting plenty of water, your body can work optimally. Also, when you’re hydrated, you won’t confuse thirst with hunger and overeat unhealthy fare. Combine watermelon and some savory and spicy ingredients for a refreshing twist with our simple and quick watermelon gazpacho recipe. Or, try our salad that offers the sweetness of watermelon, tartness of lime, saltiness of feta and olives, and semi-spicy herbaceousness of arugula.

Blueberries

It’s true that all berries are good for you. But tiny blueberries are the best of the bunch, especially for your figure—the CDC says that one cup of blueberries is 83 calories. Blueberries boast lots of nutrients, which helps them fight fat by boosting your metabolism and efficiently burning calories. And since they’re brimming with fiber, they’ll help keep you satisfied. Buckwheat flour infuses our hearty pancakes with extra protein, fiber and nutrients, and blueberry sauce is the perfect topping. Or try our smoothie, a great breakfast substitute packed with protein and fiber sure to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.

Pears

Pears are high in the fiber pectin, which has been shown to suppress appetite. Plus, all the fiber in pears helps keep you satisfied longer. And pears may reduce your cholesterol levels and your risk of coronary heart disease. Instead of turning to the vending machine, grab a pear—with the skin on so that you benefit from its filling fiber—to curb cravings. These blushing cranberry pears make a simple dessert.

Apples

Apples are easy to carry as a snack, and they’re low in calories (a medium-sized apple is 72 calories, says the CDC) and lack sodium or fat. So, they can be a component of any weight-loss diet. Apples are one of the best fruit sources of filling fiber, which means you’ll be satisfied enough to avoid binges throughout the day. In fact, research has shown that eating a fiber-filled apple before a meal can fill you up so you eat fewer calories. Plus, they can help reduce your cancer risk, promote heart health and give you energy, to boot. They’re also helpful at balancing blood sugar, which can help you make better snacking decisions because you won’t be desperate to get something into your belly quickly. Check out our 10 healthy apples recipes that you’re guaranteed to love.

Grapefruits

Eating half of a grapefruit before each meal can lower levels of insulin, a fat-storage hormone, which can lead to weight loss. Because grapefruits are loaded with water, they keep you hydrated and satisfied, helping you eat less. Plus, the fruit contains fat-burning enzymes, categorizing it as a weight-loss superfood. And because it takes more energy to digest this fruit, it helps you burn more calories. This fruit powerhouse also is a good source of protein, vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. Cook the cod here in the microwave and mix in the grapefruit and vegetables for a quick and healthy one-dish meal.

Bananas

A medium, slightly green banana will boost your metabolism and fill you up. A banana is a great way to boost energy and an ideal post-workout snack. Opt for a banana over an energy bar to ensure that you’re really getting a healthy treat. Plus, a banana can help prevent muscle cramps and regulate your blood pressure. Start your day with these banana waffles. And instead of a grilled cheese sandwich at lunch, try this grilled peanut butter and banana sandwich.

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Everyone responds to stress a little differently. Your symptoms may be different from someone else’s.

Here are some signs to look for:

  • Headaches
  • Trouble getting things done
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Not eating, or eating too much
  • Lack of energy
  • Upset stomach
  • General aches and pains
  • Feeling like you have no control
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of focus
  • Back pain
  • Short temper
  • Needing to have too much control

These may also be signs of depression or anxiety, which can be caused by long-term stress.

Keep Stress in Check

  1. Develop a new attitude – solve the problems you can and let go of what you can’t solve. Be flexible. Get organized. Set limits to balance your live.
  2. Relax – Take deep breaths. Stretch. Massage tense muscles. Do something you want to do.
  3. Take care of your body – Get enough sleep. Eat right. Get moving. Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways.
  4. Connect with Others – Share your stress. Get help from a professional if you need to. Help others. Join a group exercise class.
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DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS OFTEN IMPROVE WITH EXERCISE.

Here are some realistic tips to help you get started and stay motivated. By Mayo Clinic Staff.
Downloaded April 28, 2015 from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

When you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.

Exercise helps prevent and improve a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis. Research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood.

The links between anxiety, depression and exercise aren’t entirely clear — but working out and other forms of physical activity can definitely ease symptoms of anxiety or depression and make you feel better. Exercise may also help keep anxiety and depression from coming back once you’re feeling better.

How does exercise help depression and anxiety?

Regular exercise probably helps ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:

  • Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)
  • Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
  • Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects

Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too. It can help you:

  • Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
  • Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
  • Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
  • Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.

Is a structured exercise program the only option?

Some research shows that physical activity such as regular walking — not just formal exercise programs — may help improve mood. Physical activity and exercise are not the same thing, but both are beneficial to your health.

  • Physical activity is any activity that contracts muscles and expends energy and can include work or household or leisure activities.
  • Exercise is a planned, structured and repetitive body movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness.

The word “exercise” may make you think of running laps around the gym. But exercise includes a wide range of activities that boost your activity level to help you feel better.

Certainly running, lifting weights, playing basketball and other fitness activities that get your heart pumping can help. But so can physical activity such as gardening, washing your car, walking around the block or engaging in other less intense activities. Any physical activity that gets you off the couch and moving can help improve your mood.

You don’t have to do all your exercise or other physical activity at once. Broaden how you think of exercise and find ways to add small amounts of physical activity throughout your day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little farther away from work to fit in a short walk. Or, if you live close to your job, consider biking to work.

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At the Y, we know that moms of today must make choices that generations of moms never had to make. According to the bureau of Labor and Statistics, for over 60% of households with two parents, both parents work outside of the home to support the family. Here are some suggestions to help, once the decision is made.

Let Go of the Guilt

Think of the benefits from your role as working mother. Perhaps you can afford certain classes & activities or a college savings.

Find Quality Child Care

Collect references from friends and family. Create a list of important criteria then interview qualified child care providers or tour local day-cares.

Make the Mornings Easier

Get organized the night before. Pack lunches, choose clothes, decide breakfast, repack the diaper bag and backpacks, have your keys and purse by the door.

Keep a Family Calendar

Figure out your family’s priorities. List school and family events, extracurricular activities, chores, birthdays and more.

Stay Connected During the Day

Consider recording yourself talking or singing on a video or reading along to a children’s recordable storybook. Give them pictures of yourself.

Limit Distractions

Set time limits when checking email or making phone calls, things you can do when the kids are sleeping. Reduce TV watching. Focus on tasks while at work.

Create Special Family Activities

Have a family breakfast or family night with board games or movies. In the end, it doesn’t really matter what you do as long as you do it together.

Spend Time with Your Partner

Plan monthly date nights to feel rejuvenated and enjoy each other’s company. Cook an elegant meal together or have a glass of wine and talk about things other than the kids.

Create Moments for Yourself

By managing your time, you can take a refreshing break and recharge. The more relaxed you feel, the better parenting you can do. Lose yourself in a book before you go to sleep, take a bubble bath once a week or treat yourself to a spa day. Fit in time for exercise (like a yoga class) or focus on a hobby. Remember to get enough rest!

Resource located at: http://www.parents.com/parenting/work/life-balance/moms-balance-work-family/ 

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By Mayo Clinic Staff
Downloaded 4/28/2016: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/fitness/art-20044531

You know fitness is important for your health and well-being. And you want to get more active, but your days are a blur of work, household chores, errands, and time with family and friends. Setting aside enough time to sleep — let alone exercise — can be tough.

So how can you find time for fitness? The key is to be flexible and make fitness a way of life. And remember all physical activity — not just formal exercise programs — adds up to a healthier you.

Fitting in fitness at home

Time spent at home doesn’t have to be couch potato time. To make fitness a priority at home:

  • Wake up early. Get up 30 minutes earlier than you normally do and use the extra time to walk on your treadmill or take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  • Make chores count. Mop the floor, scrub the bathtub or do other housework at a pace fast enough to get your heart pumping. Outdoor work counts, too. Mowing the lawn with a push mower is a great way to burn calories. Raking and hoeing strengthen your arms and back, and digging works your arms and legs.
  • Be active while watching TV. Use hand weights, ride a stationary bike or do a stretching routine during your favorite shows. Get off the couch to change the channel or adjust the volume.
  • Involve the whole family. Take group walks before or after dinner. Play catch. Ride your bikes. It’s best to build up to about 30 minutes of continuous activity, but you can exercise in shorter bursts, too.
  • Get your dog into the act. Take daily walks with Fido or Fluffy. If you don’t have a dog, borrow one. An enthusiastic dog may give you the motivation you need to lace up your walking shoes.

Work out at work

To fit in more physical activity while you’re on the job:

  • Make the most of your commute. Walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Take the stairs whenever you can. If you have a meeting on another floor, get off the elevator a few floors early and use the stairs. Better yet, skip the elevator entirely.
  • Take fitness breaks. Rather than hanging out in the lounge with coffee or a snack, take a short walk. Or invite colleagues to join you for a walking meeting.
  • Start a walking group. The regular routine and the support of your co-workers may help you stick with the program.
  • Put it on the calendar. Schedule physical activity as you would any other appointment during the day. Don’t change your exercise plans for every interruption that comes along.
  • Take it on the road. If you travel for work, plan ahead. Bring your jump-rope or choose a hotel that has fitness facilities. If you’re stuck in an airport waiting for a plane, grab your bags and take a walk.

More tips for fitting in fitness

Here are a few more ways you can add more activity to your routine:

  • Get more out of errands. When you go to the mall or grocery store, park toward the back of the lot and walk the extra distance. If you have a little extra time, walk inside for a lap or two before you start shopping. Keep a pair of walking shoes in your car so that you’re ready when you find a few minutes for exercise.
  • Get social. Make a date with a friend to hike in a local park, or take a family trip to the zoo. Try a dance club, hiking group or golf league. Encouragement from others can help you stay with a new activity.
  • Team up. Sign up for a softball, soccer or volleyball team through your local parks and recreation department. Making a commitment to a team is a great motivator.
  • Join the club. Sign up for a group exercise class at a nearby gym or fitness center. The cost may be an added incentive to stick with it.

There’s no single best way to fit physical activity into your day. Your lifestyle, job and family responsibilities will point to the most convenient time and place for fitness. Do what works for you — and make daily physical activity a habit you keep.


The YMCA is here to help and is the perfect place for women to begin, re-commit, or continue an exercise routine to strengthen your spirit, mind and body. We’re friendly, smart, caring, and excited to work with you on your health goals. Our certified personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and wellness center instructors can design, lead, and suggest classes that best suit your wellness needs. And all YMCA staffs are CPR and first aid certified.

Here at the Y we have classes and programs that burn calories and will get your pulse racing. We have a long list of choice classes like Group Cycling, SandBell, RIPPED, Zumba, Turbo Kick, Water Fitness and many more on land or in the water* (*at selected locations) so you can find the classes that suit you best — high-intensity & high impact to low-intensity & low impact — we have classes for all fitness levels. And our expert wellness center instructors and personal trainers can design a personalized cardio and/or strength training program just for you. We even have nutrition consultations at some locations.

The YMCA suggests you check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to begin your exercise plan.

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6 SYMPTOMS OF WOMEN’S HEART ATTACKS

By Lisa Fields
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD
http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/womens-heart-attack-symptoms

When a heart attack strikes, it doesn’t always feel the same in women as it does in men.

Women don’t always get the same classic heart attack symptoms as men, such as crushing chest pain that radiates down one arm. Those heart attack symptoms can certainly happen to women, but many experience vague or even “silent” symptoms that they may miss.

These six heart attack symptoms are common in women:

  1. Chest pain or discomfort. Chest pain is the most common heart attack symptom, but some women may experience it differently than men. It may feel like a squeezing or fullness, and the pain can be anywhere in the chest, not just on the left side. It’s usually “truly uncomfortable” during a heart attack, says cardiologist Rita Redberg, MD, director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services at the University of California, San Francisco. “It feels like a vise being tightened.”
  2. Pain in your arm(s), back, neck, or jaw. This type of pain is more common in women than in men. It may confuse women who expect their pain to be focused on their chest and left arm, not their back or jaw. The pain can be gradual or sudden, and it may wax and wane before becoming intense. If you’re asleep, it may wake you up. You should report any “not typical or unexplained” symptoms in any part of your body above your waist to your doctor or other health care provider, says cardiologist C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, director of the Barbra Streisand Women’s Heart Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
  3. Stomach pain. Sometimes people mistake stomach pain that signals a heart attack with heartburn, the flu, or a stomach ulcer. Other times, women experience severe abdominal pressure that feels like an elephant sitting on your stomach, says cardiologist Nieca Goldberg, MD, medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.
  4. Shortness of breath, nausea, or lightheadedness. If you’re having trouble breathing for no apparent reason, you could be having a heart attack, especially if you’re also having one or more other symptoms. “It can feel like you have run a marathon, but you didn’t make a move,” Goldberg says.
  5. Sweating. Breaking out in a nervous, cold sweat is common among women who are having a heart attack. It will feel more like stress-related sweating than perspiration from exercising or spending time outside in the heat. “Get it checked out” if you don’t typically sweat like that and there is no other reason for it, such as heat or hot flashes, Bairey Merz says.
  6. Fatigue. Some women who have heart attacks feel extremely tired, even if they’ve been sitting still for a while or haven’t moved much. “Patients often complain of a tiredness in the chest,” Goldberg says. “They say that they can’t do simple activities, like walk to the bathroom.”

Not everyone gets all of those symptoms. If you have chest discomfort, especially if you also have one or more of the other signs, call 911 immediately.

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A Lesson, From Prince to You

There’s nothing quite like a milestone birthday. While your 20s are a defining decade of your life, filled with making life plans like finishing college and finding a career, your 30s are an opportunity to set philanthropic goals. Create a plan that protects the important people and causes in your life, such as The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, as you start planning for the future.

Three tips to take on this year:

Tip 1: Create a will. If you haven’t created a will, the time to do so is now. If there’s one thing to learn from Prince’s death, it’s that everyone should have a will, and it’s never too early to make one. In the absence of a will, it’s up to the Minnesota probate court to decide what happens to Prince’s estate, which could take years and likely won’t take into consideration the things that mattered most to him.

A will lets you control your legacy and how your assets will be distributed after your lifetime, including any charitable gifts you wish to make to The Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA.

If you have already created a will, this is a good time to review it to make sure it still meets your needs. If you’ve experienced any of the following events, you might need to update your will:

  • A new marriage or divorce, including your own or your children’s
  • The birth of a child
  • The death of a family member
  • A move to another state
  • A new or growing relationship with a charitable cause

Tip 2: Define roles for your loved ones. Part of creating your will is naming a guardian for any minor children in your care, as well as your executor, who oversees how your assets are distributed after your lifetime. Talk with the people you would like to assume these important roles to make sure they are willing to accept the responsibilities.

Your executor holds an important job, and if you don’t have a relative or close friend you trust to handle the duties, you can name a bank or trust company as your executor for a fee. Many banks have experience administering estates, a common practice for larger estates.

Tip 3: Organize your paperwork. Once you have created and/or updated the various documents detailed above, don’t put them in a box under your bed. Store them in a secure place in your home, such as a fire- and waterproof safe. Give a copy of your will to your executor, and make sure the people you’ve appointed as your powers of attorney for health care and financial matters have original copies of those documents.

Consider opening a safe-deposit box to store other items that would cause panic if lost, such as:

  • Insurance policies
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates
  • Adoption papers and divorce decrees
  • Deeds, titles, mortgage papers and lease contracts
  • Military records and citizenship papers
  • Stock and bond certificates

Whatever you do, do not keep the original copy of your will or trust, power of attorney documents or medical care directives in your safe-deposit box.

Plan for the Future Today

Make sure you’re on the right path to creating a secure plan that protects your family’s future with our FREE Personal Estate Planning Kit. Download your kit today or contact Danny Carroll at dcarroll@peninsulaymca.org or 757.223.7925 ext 203 to learn more.

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Our mission is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.