Research has shown that women are more likely to have heart disease than men. In fact, heart disease is the number 1 killer of women. So what can women do to reduce their risk of heart disease.
- Quit smoking. This is so important. After one year of not smoking, the risk of coronary heart disease is reduced by 50 percent.
- Walk 30 minutes a day to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you are trying to lose weight, increase this to 60-90 minutes. This is important, even if you are not overweight.
- Lose weight. You want a BMI lower than 25 and a waist measurement lower than 35 inches. This is important to lower your blood pressure and to keep from getting diabetes. Both conditions significantly increase your chance for heart disease.
- Eat healthier. Remake your diet to be lower in cholesterol, salt and saturated fat.
- Take an aspirin a day. Talk to your doctor before you do this. Certain women who are susceptible to heart disease will need to do this. Your doctor can tell you if you need to. Do not consider age a factor as women of any age can develop heart disease.
- Get good sleep. People who do not sleep well or do not get enough sleep are more susceptible to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and depression. By getting good sleep, and enough of it, you lower your risk of having heart issues.
- Get regular health screenings in order to catch problems in advance. These screenings help you detect if your cholesterol levels are getting too high, your blood pressure is too high, etc. The sooner you find out, the sooner you can address the issue and thwart heart disease.
None of these things will keep a woman from getting heart disease. Many times, genetics play a big role. However, all of these steps will reduce the risk of getting heart disease. Should you be diagnosed with heart disease, all these steps will help keep it under control.
Talk to your doctor about being screened so you can put a plan into place to reduce your risk of heart disease today.