For Women: Prevent Heart Attacks
Heart attacks in women present different symptoms than in men, so it's important to be aware of the signs in order to act quickly.
We normally associate cardiac disease with men, but in recent years it’s become one of the leading causes of death in women. In this article, we’ll cover some ways that women can help prevent heart attacks.
Cardiac Health in Women
Are you a woman? How’s your heart health? Keep your age in mind. The sooner we begin to take care of this vital organ, the longer it will continue giving us life. At this point you’re probably wondering why the rate of heart attacks in women has gone up recently, but women are more vulnerable to heart-related problems. We’ll explain:
- Major stress and anxiety problems: That’s easy to understand. Women have multiple responsibilities: child-rearing, a job, caring for elders… Many women carry the duties of a full-time job on top of being a caregiver to others. This can lead to what is known as “broken heart” syndrome, a problem associated with stress that is becoming increasingly alarming.
- Symptoms of a heart attack are different in women than in men. Symptoms are often easier to recognize in men: stiffness of the arm and shortness of breath. With women, on the other hand, it’s often not as clear. We feel tired and experience some aches and pains that don’t seem to be anything serious, without even thinking it could be the heart.
- Another startling fact is that in recent years, women are starting to smoke much more than men. A very dangerous risk factor that can lead to a heart attack or stroke sooner or later.
Learn to Care for Your Heart
1. Learn to control stress and anxiety
One of the leading causes of heart attacks is stress. Stress that’s impossible to manage. Keep this in mind and start to think about your own needs. Obviously, there are areas of your life that you can’t neglect: family, work, household duties… but find time for yourself and enjoy your life. Set aside two hours each day for your own interests and hobbies. Establish priorities, nurture your self-esteem, set limits to protect your personal boundaries… listen to your emotions and get excited about life, waking up each day with a smile. Your heart will thank you for the lowered levels of cortisol, which is known as the stress hormone.
2. Watch your weight by watching what you eat
Another vital tip: avoid weight gain. When we gain weight and our body is forced to carry excess fat, our health suffers as a result. Fat blocks veins and arteries, meaning blood can’t flow normally. The heart also suffers from elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels… turning the heart into a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode.
Eliminate fats from your diet, along with salt. Eat fresh fruits, more fiber and grains; drink more water and natural juices. An interesting fact to keep in mind: a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that a diet of red fruit reduced heart problems by nearly 30%.
If available in your city or at your local market, try to buy fruits like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, plums, or currants; they’re all very healthy and will work to improve your cardiac health. It’s something delicious worth trying.
3. A little light exercise
You don’t have to go to the gym every day and work out your glutes and abs, just some simple aerobic exercise is enough to improve cardiac health by getting the heart rate up.
A very health way to get in some exercise is to go for a walk each morning, before it gets too hot. Half an hour of walking not only improves the muscle tone of the heart, but improves joint mobility and raises the levels of dopamine in the body. It’s really healthy and enjoyable.
4. Do you have a nasty tobacco habit?
If you’re a part of the rising number of women who smoke, now’s the time to quit. Not only for you and your health, but the health of your loved ones and others. Keep in mind that sooner or later your health is going to suffer, you’ll experience trouble breathing, your lungs will be diseased and your risk of heart attack or stroke will be higher. Is it worth having all that hanging over your head? Quit smoking now and enjoy a better quality of life.