Women's heart health is an important issue, as heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United States. As such, it is crucial that you find out how to reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems, and ensure that you live a long, healthy life.
According to the latest estimates, one in every two women will eventually die of heart disease or stroke, an alarming figure especially when compared to the number who will die of breast cancer, 1 in 27. So you can see why heart health should be a priority for women. . . unfortunately most women are unaware just how great the risk is, and how they can reduce their chances of future heart issues.
As women reach menopause, their risk of cardiovascular disease jumps dramatically, although it is something to be on top of throughout your life. Research shows that you have the power to improve your heart health significantly by incorporating a heart healthy diet and exercise regimen and avoiding those things that can lead to cardiovascular complications down the road.
The following apply to womens heart health as well as mens, so anyone can benefit from these tips:
1. Start out by visiting your doctor and getting the proper blood tests to see where you stand. The major healthy heart indicators are cholesterol, triglycerides, homocysteine and C Reactive Protein, or CRP. Check your levels of all (4) of these risk indicators to get a complete picture of your heart health.
2. Watch what you eat. . . simple dietary changes can have an enormous beneficial effect. Cut out fried foods, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, sodas and sweets as much as possible. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Specifically, Omega 3 fatty oils found in fish are an important part of a healthy heart diet, and garlic and extra virgin olive oil can reduce cholesterol levels.
3. Exercise can improve a womans heart health by strengthening the cardiovascular system, and facilitating the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues. It also helps relieve stress and boosts immune function, which can help ward off heart disease and other health complications.
4. Make a few lifestyle changes. Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease, so if you do smoke quit as soon as possible. . . you'd be amazed at how well your body can repair itself once you stop. If you are overweight, try to lose those excess pounds as fat can really put stress on your cardiovascular system. Don't consume excessive alcohol and try to reduce stress as much as possible.
This is just a basic overview of things that can improve men and womens heart health, but it gives you a starting point. You can learn more about all four of these tips on our site, from a specific healthy heart diet to exercises to small changes that can have a significant effect on your heart.
David Bloom is a health enthusiast and contributor to many fitness and exercise sites. He is the author of Heart Health , a section of Herbal Supplements Guide dedicated to cardiovascular wellness, as well as Womens Heart Health which addresses issues specific to females.