The Truth Isn’t Pretty
Many women believe heart disease is a ‘man’s disease’. However, research reveals heart disease is the largest single cause of death among women in the Western world, accounting for one-third of all deaths. Despite this depressing statistic, women still tend to underestimate their personal risk for heart disease and do not prioritize it among their personal health concerns or realize the potential impact it has on their families.
Denial Is Easy
It’s easy to think ‘heart problems’ are only for older women as most women are diagnosed in their post -menopausal years. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women over the age of 35. It is never too early or too late to take a proactive role in your heart health. How you choose to live in your 20’s and 30’s greatly affects the outcome of your heart health in later years. Ignoring troublesome symptoms and personal risk factors now can have devastating effects later.
Caring For Your Heart
We are good at caring for our bodies-the parts we can see. But what about what’s inside? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I smoke?
- Do I have high blood pressure?
- Do I have high blood cholesterol?
- Am I overweight?
- What is my waist circumference?
- Am I physically inactive?
- Do I have diabetes?
- Other risk factors include: Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, metabolic syndrome, pregnancy complications (high blood pressure, diabetes, or delivering a pre-term infant), radiation or chemotherapy for cancer
85% of heart disease can be prevented but it is up to you. Start with a personal commitment to
- Choose a diet low in fat, cholesterol and sugar but high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, and lean protein
- Be more conscious of portion control
- Walk at least 10,000 steps per day
- Stop smoking
- Limit alcohol to one drink per day
- Manage emotional stress
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Maintain a healthy waist circumference (less than 35 inches)
The heart truth is being heart healthy never goes out of style! Small steps can make a life saving difference!