Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States, claiming more lives than all forms of cancer combined. That's why it's so important for every woman to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect her heart. In this article, we will discuss six heart health tips that every woman should know.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart disease. It increases the workload on your heart, forcing it to work harder and making it more likely to have problems like hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), stroke, heart attack, or congestive heart failure. That's why it's so important to get your blood pressure checked regularly and monitor any changes over time. If you're at risk for hypertension, talk to your doctor about lifestyle modifications that can help keep your numbers in check.
Eating healthy foods is one of the best ways to protect your heart health. Focus on choosing fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Eating a diet that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugar, and sodium can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Regular physical activity is essential for protecting your heart health. Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This includes activities like brisk walking, swimming, biking, jogging or dancing. Exercise helps keep your arteries flexible and keeps blood flowing throughout your body. Plus it strengthens your heart muscle so it can pump more efficiently.
It can be easy to ignore strange symptoms or changes in your body, convincing yourself that it’s nothing serious and that it will go away on its own. The truth is, though, that these things are best addressed early on before the situation can worsen. This is why it’s important to make sure you visit a doctor at least once a year. It's especially crucial to pay attention to changes in your body and not ignore any symptoms that seem 'off.'
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on heart health by increasing inflammation and putting extra strain on your cardiovascular system. Try to take steps to reduce stress in your life such as getting regular exercise, meditating or talking with friends and family. Taking time out of your day for self-care can also help improve your overall wellbeing and make it easier to manage stress when it does arise.
Women experience symptoms of heart disease differently than men, which is why it can often go unnoticed or ignored. While common symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath are still present in women, they may come with additional feelings such as nausea, indigestion, fatigue or back pain. Signs of a potential heart attack may also be more subtle for some women—such as cold sweats or mild discomfort in the chest area—which could lead them to ignore warning signs until it’s too late.
Following these six tips will go a long way towards protecting your heart health over time. Contact Sam Houston Heart & Vascular if you have any questions or concerns about your risk for heart disease, or if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms. Taking steps today to protect your heart health can help ensure a healthier future.