Heart Healthy Tips Every Woman Should Know

Heart Healthy Tips Every Woman Should Know

Not long ago, women didn't have as many heart attacks as men. But those days are gone.

Women now do have as many heart attacks as men. Compared to men, women are more likely to die in the years after a heart attack. Overall, one in five women die from cardiovascular disease.

These numbers don't have to dictate your future because 80% of cardiovascular disease can be prevented. Our compassionate cardiologists at Woodlands Heart and Vascular Institute work closely with women, helping them prevent the conditions that cause heart disease so they can enjoy a long, thriving life.

Here are their top heart-healthy tips for women:

Lower your risk factors

You can prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering your risk of developing the health conditions that contribute to heart and blood vessel problems. 

You lower your risk factors by dealing with health issues such as:

We encourage all women to schedule routine heart-health screenings. The only way to know if you’re at risk is to have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checked.

The American Heart Association recommends that women get their blood pressure checked yearly, blood sugar every three years, and cholesterol levels every 4-6 years. However, you need more frequent screenings if you have a higher risk of heart disease.

The age at which you should get your first screening varies depending on your overall health and if you have a family history of heart disease. To learn if you should schedule a screening, call the office, and we can help.

Most importantly, don't wait until symptoms develop. By then, it's too late to prevent the problem.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

It's never too early to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle, but the sooner you begin, the better your chances of preventing heart problems. The lifestyle that supports your heart — following a balanced diet, limiting your caloric intake, and getting regular exercise — is also the best way to lower your risk factors.

Manage your stress

It doesn't matter if you're stuck in traffic, have a deadline at work, face financial problems, or your partner is sick. Every type of stress you experience has a physical impact on your body. Stress hormones rise, your heart rate goes up, and your blood vessels narrow.

When you relax, your body returns to normal. But if you have frequent or constant stress, your body stays on high alert. Eventually, the ongoing stress causes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, weight gain, and heart disease.

Take small steps to change

It's never easy to change your lifestyle, whether you need to deal with all the risk factors or you're generally healthy and only need to lose 10 pounds. The best way to restore optimal health and prevent heart problems is to define your goal and then break it down into small steps.

Here are a few examples:

Start with small steps and gradually increase your lifestyle changes as you feel stronger and healthier.

Never ignore symptoms

The symptoms of cardiovascular disease include:

If you have any of these symptoms, don't wait to get an exam. Early treatment protects your health and saves your life.

Schedule routine gynecologic care

Some gynecologic conditions are associated with a higher risk of heart disease. For example, polycystic ovary disease and gestational diabetes increase your risk of developing clogged coronary arteries, a condition called coronary artery disease (CAD). Endometriosis alone raises the risk of CAD by 400% in women under the age of 40.

If you have questions or need help protecting your heart health, call our office in The Woodlands, Texas, or book an appointment online today.

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