Women and the Risk of Heart Disease

When asked what their greatest health risk might be, many women believe breast cancer ranks highest. However, given recent research and documentation, heart disease remains the number one killer of American women.

Beginning even early in the teenage years, the process which can lead to heart disease may already be in motion. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and lack of exercise can all contribute to poor heart health later in life. To potentially head off coronary disease, there are several steps which women may be taken as a preventative measure.

Know and understand your family history. If you have a history of heart disease, high blood pressure, or high blood sugar, you may be prone or at risk for coronary complications. When you know and understand what may possibly affect you, you can formulate a plan to possibly counter some of the potential threats.

When was the last time you checked your blood pressure, cholesterol level, or blood sugar? Do you keep an eye on your weight? Keep track of the numbers which are strong indicators as to the condition of your body. Routine checkups are a vitally important part of prevention.

Watching your weight is probably the least most enjoyable thing anyone does. But that is if you make it so. Find new ways to motivate and reward yourself for eating right and exercising. Promise your self-new clothes or other incentives to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

If you smoke, quit! Your chances of a heart attack increase dramatically with smoking as do they decrease when you quit. It really does make a difference.

Reduce the amount of sodium and saturated fats in your diet. Eating more foods rich in fiber, grains, fruits, and vegetables will not only provide long-term protection but give you the nutrition you need on a daily basis.

Exercise, exercise, exercise! Go to the gym, take a brisk walk, ride a bike, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park further in the parking lot. Take the necessary steps to ensure you are exercising the most important muscle in your body. Get creative, and once again, reward your self when you achieve a set goal.