Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in three deaths each year? That’s about one women every minute! The latest findings from the American Heart Association also report that:
- around 44 million women in the U.S. are affected by cardiovascular diseases
- 90% of women have one or more risk factors for heart disease
- fewer women than men survive their first heart attack
- the symptoms of heart attack can be different in women vs. men
- 80% of heart disease events may be prevented by lifestyle changes and education
These finding are alarming which is why it is important for women to live a healthy lifestyle that positively influences their heart. Heart disease doesn’t appear overnight; it is the result of many years of heart-unhealthy choices. Here are a few tips that can help you live a more heart-healthy lifestyle.
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetable
To give your heart the nutrients it needs to function optimally, it is important to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Beans and legumes are a smart choice for a heart-healthy diet.
2. Get Active
Daily physical activity is a great way to live a healthier life. Just 30 minutes of exercise, five times per week can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
3. Control Your Cholesterol
It is important to control your cholesterol to give your arteries the best chance to remain clear of blockages. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that our bodies use to make cell membranes and some hormones. But, when you have bad cholesterol it combines with white blood cells to form plaque in your veins and arteries. This plaque causes blockages that lead to heart disease. Ask your doctor for tips and diet ideas to help lower or maintain your cholesterol.
4. Manage Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is another major risk factor for heart disease, along with bad cholesterol. When you maintain a blood pressure within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart and arteries. If you have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, it means that blood flows with too much force and puts pressure on your arteries, stretching them past their healthy limit and causing microscopic tears. To repair these tears, our bodies form scar tissue which can trap plaque and form blockages, blood clots and hardened arteries. If you have or are at risk of high blood pressure, ask your doctor about measures you can take to reduce it.
5. Stop Smoking
Those who use tobacco products have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. If you smoke, the best thing you can do for your heart is to quit. Smoking damages your entire circulatory system and increases your risk for hardened arteries and blood clots. Whatever it takes for you to stop smoking is worth it. Ask your physician for tips and advice on how to kick this unhealthy habit.
There are many other ways to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. We encourage you to ask your doctor at Greenville Women Clinic’s for advice on how to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases. As we mentioned previously, education is also important in preventing the disease. Share the information and tips you have learned with your friends and family and let’s all have healthier hearts!