Did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in women in the US?
In fact, more women die from heart disease than from all forms of cancer combined. This fact means that women need to make heart health a top priority.
Rather than dwelling on the negatives, there is much that women can do to care for the health of their hearts. Here are the top 6 key tips for heart health for women.
Top 6 Tips to Keep a Healthy Heart for Women
1. Stop Smoking
It is well known that smoking is bad for health in general. However, smoking has a negative impact on heart health. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from heart attacks as those who don't. For women, this especially important because statistically more women smoke cigarettes than men do.
2. Be Physically Active
Physical activity is essential to keeping a healthy heart. Aerobic exercise that elevates heart rate helps to keep the heart working at its best.
Running, walking, cycling, aerobics classes, elliptical machines even regular dancing are all great options to keep your heart strong.
There are also a few practical steps you can take now to become more active every single day For example, you can park your car a few blocks from where you want to be and walk.
Physical activity will help you lose weight, which in turn puts less strain on your heart. However, being physically active is not just good for losing weight. It helps to strengthen your heart. Therefore, physical activity has a two-fold benefit for the heart.
Following a healthy, well-balanced diet is a must. A healthy diet is comprised of whole read food, and eliminates junk food and high fat sugary choices.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, along with grilled lean meats and fish are your best choices. Beans are also a good source of no fat protein. High fiber grains, like whole oats, and whole grain bread and cereals are essential to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Recent studies have suggested that the Mediterranean Diet can have very impressive benefits for heart health.
It's also good to know your fats. Trans fats are the worst, but all fats are bad. In fact, some have many health benefits. For example, olive oil can actually help keep the heart healthy.
Nuts are also a good source of healthy fats. Monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats are all good for heart health. Of course, any types of fats are high in calories and, therefore should be eaten in moderation.
It is also good to drink more water and definitely limit sodas and alcohol.
4. Monitor Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that can build up on the walls of heart arteries High cholesterol is a major contributing risk factor to heart attack and stroke, and should therefore be checked regularly.
71 million American adults or 33.5% of the population has high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. Only 1 out of 3 adults who has high LDL cholesterol has the condition under control.
Lowering cholesterol reduces risk for heart attack, the need for bypass surgery and death from heart disease.
By following a good diet and taking plenty of exercise, you already have taken the key steps to a healthy heart. Cholesterol levels in the blood can be caused by a number of factors, not just diet.
5. Lower Stress Levels
We live in a stressful world and because of that, it's not possible to avoid all stress. When a woman is under a lot of stress for an extended period of time, then this can negatively affect the heart as stress causes high blood pressure that contributes to heart disease and heart attack.
To reduce stress, take the time to learn its sources and eliminate these whenever possible. In general, you need to take the time to relax every single day.
Participate in exercise that promote stress reduction, like yoga, and Tai Chi. Aerobic exercise also helps reduce stress. Make stress reduction a priority and take care of your stress levels to ensure heart health.
6. Plenty Of Sleep
Sleep and heart health are closely related. Make sure that you get enough sleep for your needs. How much is needed? Adults tend to need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep every night. Getting enough sleep improves heart health, boosts the immune system, and helps in losing weight.
These top 6 tips will help any woman get and maintain a healthy heart.