Here’s a pretty sobering fact about heart disease that every woman should know and be mindful of:
It’s the number one killer of women.
That’s right, heart disease kills more women than any other cause of death. It’s deadlier than all forms of cancer, killing one in three women.
Contrary to popular belief, men do not have the market cornered on these heart-related deaths, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Both women and men can change the impact heart disease has on our lives, and it really only requires some simple lifestyle modifications.
H — Have more sex. That’s right, get it on with your lover more often! That quality, active time together is considered a minimal cardio workout; it’s similar to walking a 20-minute mile. A regular and consistent sex life can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
E — Eat more heart-healthy foods. A diet rich in foods like nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios), red foods (cherries, tomatoes, bell peppers), fatty fish like salmon, oatmeal, berries, olive oil, and greens (broccoli, spinach) will aid your body’s fight against heart disease. Limiting heart harmers like salt, excessive fats, and red meat is advisable, too.
A — Allow yourself to rest. You’ve got to get those zzzs to keep your ticker up and running. It’s recommended to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night to both greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce risk of heart disease-related death. Sleep in a cool room, on clean bedding, with no light (that includes screens!).
R — Ride a bike. It’s one of the most beneficial ways to exercise out there, and greatly under utilized. German researchers saw a significant decrease in heart attack and stroke for men using a stationary bike just 20 minutes a day. So imagine what logging greater distance and time will do for you over dynamic terrain? Not to mention the overall benefit of the total body workout cycling can provide.
T — Test yourself. Get tested annually and know your numbers for cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar. Make waist size one of those numbers, too, as it is more indicative of overall wellness than even scale weight. Heart.org has a great guide to help you understand what it all means. Between visits, use the HEAR tips to get those numbers to healthier levels.
HEART will help you remember a few keys ways to make key lifestyle modifications like eating the right foods and exercising more. Consider other important preventive steps you can take like smoking cessation, losing weight, and knowing your family history.
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