In the aftermath of the Women’s Health Week here is what you can do to help your heart remain as healthy as possible.
At any stage of life, you could incorporate the following tips into your daily routine to try and keep your heart as healthy as possible.
1. Diet for a healthy heart
To ensure a healthy heart, women need to eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and fiber rich foods. Concentrate on healthy fats and have seafood at least a couple of times a week.
Cut down on the salt by using herbs and other flavorings. Substitute deserts with blue berries, apples, pears and bananas. Use cinnamon instead of sugar for your tea and coffee to make significant cuts in your sugar intake.
2. Keep active
Make exercise an integral part of life. Half an hour five days a week is the minimum, and having an otherwise active lifestyle is a plus for good heart health.
3. Be careful after menopause
Women have a natural protection against heart disease until they reach menopause.
After this protection that estrogen offers seems to decline, making women more prone to heart disease. Also women tend to put on weight around their waist which further increases heart disease risk.
4. Cut down on alcohol and cut out smoking completely
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are known risk factors for heart disease not only in men but in women as well. Amending these habits can significantly reduce risk of heart problems.
5. Lower stress
Stress is something else that that has far-reaching consequences for women’s health. It is a risk factor for mental conditions such as clinical depression, for abdominal and overall obesity and heart disease as well. It is therefore important to keep stress within manageable limits.
6. Control cholesterol levels and blood pressure
Hypertension, low levels of good cholesterol and high levels of bad cholesterol are also known risk factors for heart disease. So have these checked regularly and keep them under control.
7. Get familiar with your family history
If close relatives, particularly female relatives (mother, grandmothers, aunts) have had a history of heart disease then you need to be extra vigilant yourself about heart disease.
8. Educate yourself
Get familiar with the symptoms of heart disease in women, since they can be quite different than those of men. Also find out what the emergency procedure and treatment for heart disease should be.