PREVENTING HEART DISEASES FOR WOMEN
Those who make positive changes in their lifestyle and daily habits are likely to reduce their chances of getting heart disease. Women who live a healthy lifestyle and have good habits can reduce their chances of getting heart disease by eighty two percent. Women should avoid smoking, they should exercise regularly, and they should eat healthy food all the time.
What are some of the risk factors of heart disease in women?
Here are some of the factors that affect heart disease in women
- ERT or Estrogen Replacement Therapy - The risks and the benefits of ERT are not yet fully understood right now although a lot of research is being done in order to shed light on this topic. You should talk to your doctor and find out whether this procedure is good for you or not.
- Smoking - you have always heard the doctor tell you to quit smoking. Women who are smokers are two to four times more likely to die earlier than normal. When you stop smoking, you are preventing premature death effectively. If you are smoking right now then you should quit. If you are not smoking right now then you should not even think about starting the nasty habit. There are also studies that show that second hand smoke, when inhaled by children, will increase their chances of getting respiratory disorders.
- Diabetes - Women who have diabetes are three to seven times more likely to develop heart disease than a woman without diabetes. In order to manage diabetes, women should maintain a healthy weight, remain active, and cut down on their dietary fat and their calorie intake. You should work with your doctor on how to control your diabetes.
- Physical inactivity - women who are physically active have a sixty to seventy percent chance of lowering their heart disease as compared to women who do not exercise regularly. Women should try to get at least half an hour of moderate to intense exercise every day. This includes activities like brisk walking, jogging, or a favourite sport. Exercise can be performed in short periods throughout the day. The more exercise you get in a day will translate to more rewards for you.
- High cholesterol and high triglycerides - Women whose total cholesterol levels are over two hundred are likely to get heart disease. You should have a LDL of below one hundred and sixty. This is the bad cholesterol. On the other hand, your good cholesterol or HDL count must be over forty five. Finally, the triglycerides should be kept under two hundred. Triglycerides are coming up as one of the significant predictors of heart disease in women. You should have your cholesterol levels checked and consult with your doctor if they are over the normal limits.
- Obesity and being overweight - If you are thirty percent higher than your ideal body weight then you are at risk of developing heart disease. According to the latest guidelines, you should keep your waist under thirty five inches.
- High blood pressure - when your blood pressure increases, you also increase the workload of your heart. This will make it weak through the ages. You will eventually increase your chances of getting a stroke, a kidney failure, a heart attack, or a congestive heart failure. You should keep your blood pressure under 140 systolic and 90 diastolic. At 120/80, your heart is working at its best. You should have your blood pressure checked every other year.
- Stress and depression - If you go through sustained stress every day like constant adrenaline rushes or increases in blood pressure then you are more likely to develop heart disease. Women who are depressed are also more likely to develop heart diseases.
What are some of the solutions out there that help women prevent heart disease?
Here are some of the ways where women can prevent heart disease
Everything you eat will affect your heart. The food that you eat will either increase your chances of getting heart disease or reduce your chances of getting heart disease. You can lower your blood pressure by reducing or completely removing foods with salt or sodium in your diet. You should choose low fat or non fat dairy products over the standard dairy products in order to prevent fat from building up in your arteries. You can improve the health of your heart by maintaining a healthy diet. Here are some guidelines for making better choices when it comes to eating
- you should consume five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables everyday
- you should choose foods that are whole-grain
- you should opt for low fat or non fat dairy products
- instead of using salt, you should use herbs and other means of seasoning your food
- you should minimize your consumption of sodas and sweetened teas
- you should eat two or more meals that are strictly made of vegetables every week
If you are not following a healthy diet right now then you can gradually improve your diet day by day. You can take things one step at a time when improving your eating habits. You should be happy for the positive changes that you make in your diet and you should not be too worried about the mistakes you make along the way. If you get back on track and keep eating healthy, you will eventually get used to it and you will eventually have a healthier heart. Here are some of the steps that you can take in order to improve your eating habits
- you should replace cookies and chips with apples or bananas
- you should add more vegetables to your lunch and to your dinner
- instead of drinking soda, you can drink sparkling seltzers instead
- instead of eating ice cream, consider eating low fat yogurt
- keep track of what you eat and see how you have progressed
Those who exercise are able to lower their blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight. As a result, they improve the health of their heart. One of the simplest and easiest forms of exercising is walking. Those who walk thirty minutes a day will already have a significant impact on the health of their heart. Walking is so simple. You don’t have to pay for it and you can share a walk with others as well. You can divide the thirty minutes of daily walking into sets of ten if you want. This is a great way to improving the health of your heart. Aside from walking, consider other activities like gardening, skating, dancing, biking, and golf.
Women who are in their middle ages can reap the rewards of lifting casual weights. In this way, their bones can become healthier. They can lift hand weights, carry groceries, do yoga, do Tai Chi, and go to the gym on a daily basis.
Women who are overweight or obese are more likely to get heart disease than a woman who weighs normal. Your doctor will be able to determine whether you have a normal weight or not. Your doctor will measure your body mass index that is right for your frame.
The most appropriate way of losing weight is to engage in regular physical activity and to eat properly. Those who are in weight-loss programs should ensure that their programs are sustainable over time. You should consult with your doctor or your physician before you start a weight loss program.
One of the greatest contributors to heart disease is smoking. Your risk of developing heart disease as a woman is doubled when you smoke. Smoking leads to twenty percent of heart-related deaths. Moreover, smoking can also lead to other diseases like lung cancer. If you smoke or if you are around people who smoke then you are at a greater risk of heart disease. This is because
- smoking increases your LDL count or your bad cholesterol
- smoking decreases your HDL count or your good cholesterol
- nicotine is a substance that promotes blood clotting. Blood clots can cause heart attacks
- nicotine increases your heartbeat and it raises your blood pressure
- smoking makes your heart work more
There are more than two hundred and fifty harmful chemicals found in cigarettes. Nicotine is one of them and it is very addictive. Sixty nine of the chemicals in cigarettes can cause cancer. Even the cigarettes that have low tar and nicotine content are not spared. They still contribute to heart disease. There is no such thing as safe smoking. However, if you quit smoking right now, you will already experience health benefits like
- just within a few weeks of quitting smoking, you will have normal blood pressure and normal heart rates
- after one year of smoking, your chances of getting heart disease is reduced in half
- after fifteen years of smoking, your chances of getting heart disease will become the same as the person who has not smoked at all
- women who are able to stop smoking in their late thirties add three more years to their lives
Limiting Sugar and Reducing the Chances of Diabetes
Diabetes increases the chances of developing heart disease and it also increases the chances of getting a stroke. Most adults develop Type 2 Diabetes. When diabetes is combined with other risk factors like obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, the chances of getting heart disease and a stroke are amplified.
Those who have diabetes are twice as likely to get a heart disease or a stroke as compared to someone without diabetes. People with diabetes are more likely to get heart disease earlier and strokes earlier as compared to normal people. Women who have diabetes are at an increased risk of heart disease because the diabetes negated the protective effects women get when they’re pregnant. Women who have gone through menopause and who have diabetes are more likely to get diabetes as well.
A blood sugar test will allow you to spot if you are diabetic or not. Those with diabetes have to control their intake of sugar, their blood glucose levels, their blood pressure, and their intake of cholesterol. Controlling these factors will lessen their chances of developing heart disease and getting a stroke.
Controlling Stress Levels
Stress contributes to heart disease and there is a lot of research being conducted nowadays that investigates its direct effects on the heart. When you body is stressed, it releases adrenaline. When there is adrenaline in your blood, your heart rate increases. Your blood will also clot more in these cases. Moreover, under stress, your coronary arteries constrict and they reduce the flow of blood to the heart. Your blood pressure will rise and the inner lining of the blood vessels may become damaged or may even get clogged. This will result in chest pains and could lead to a heart attack. If your stress in uncontrollable, your immune system may become weaker, you will be more emotionally depressed, experience problems with digestion, and have trouble sleeping.
Stress is the natural response of your body to external or environmental stimuli. You can experience stress physically or emotionally. Usually, stress is short and temporary like a death in the family, migration to a new locale, or surviving an accident. It is the stress that lasts for a long time which could really pose a threat to your heart. Lack of social support, your inability to control your work, taking care of old people, taking care of sick people, taking care of disabled people, problems with your family, marriage, and in relationships are the kinds of stress environments that could pose a threat to your heart’s health.
Stress that stays for a long time with you can certainly increase your blood cholesterol levels according to research. Your habits will be affected when stress is constant in your life. For instance, people who are usually stressed may find comfort in eating a lot of fatty foods. The fat and the cholesterol in the food will add up to the overall cholesterol levels of the body and make it worse.
One must reduce their stress in order to manage the health of their heart. People will react to situations differently. Some ways of reducing stress will work for some people and won’t work at all with others. You should find out what factors cause your stress. Afterwards, you can practice certain habits that will relieve you from your stress. Here are some tips on stress management
- you should exercise regularly
- you should eat properly
- you should get enough sleep
- you should know what you can change and what you can not change in your life
- you should set realistic goals and expectations for yourself
- you should assert yourself and decline tasks that you can not accomplish
- you should avoid smoking
- try relaxation techniques like breathing deeply, regular massage, mediations, yoga, Pilates, or guided imagery
- keep positive connections in your life like good friends and family
- make more positive connections in your life
It is important to manage your stress because stress that is unmanaged will increase your risk of heart disease. Moreover, stress that is left unchecked could lead to other complications like obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, lung cancer due to smoking, and lack of energy due to lack of exercise.