Women and Heart Disease: Lifestyle Changes That Reduce Risks

Woman exercisingIn the US, over 40 million women are living with cardiovascular disease, with one in four women dying from this illness.

Cardiovascular doctors offer the same advice: women should make lifestyle changes, including maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Get In Shape For Women will agree.

Whether at home, at the gym, or in a personal training studio, studies show that women should exercise a minimum of two hours a week to improve cardiovascular health.

The risk gets higher with age. Taking steps toward a healthy heart should be the concern of women of all ages. As a woman gets older, the risk of getting a heart disease becomes higher as well. High blood pressure during pregnancy and other complications might increase mothers’ risk of heart disease.

At the age of 55, low estrogen levels brought about by menopause could raise the risk of developing heart disease. Aside from good nutrition and regular exercise, there are many other positive habits that women can adopt to reduce the risk of heart disease:

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Controlling one’s weight is crucial in preventing heart disease. Being overweight or obese increases factors associated with cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

2. Quit smoking

According to the National Institutes of Health, women who smoke are six times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smoking women. Smoking also increases the risk of stroke in women.

3. Manage stress

Studies have reported that stress and depression are connected to cardiovascular diseases. Extreme stress and anxiety can cause heart failure in both men and women. Being physically inactive also contributes to stress and depression, and increases the possibility of acquiring heart-related problems.

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4. Get enough sleep

Sleep is vital for the overall health of both men and women. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. Studies show that lack of sleep increases the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and obesity.

These positive habits will not only reduce women’s chances of suffering from cardiovascular disease but will greatly benefit their overall health as well.