Heart Disease Prevention
Written by Faith Anderson on July 24, 2012
Steps to Heart Disease Prevention
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. There are some risk factors for heart disease that you can’t help – like age, sex or family history – but there are also some critical heart disease prevention steps you can take beginning today. The following are some steps young women can start taking now to reduce their risk of heart disease and other heart-related problems in the future, including eating well, exercising, not smoking, reducing stress and getting enough sleep.
- The American Heart Association recommends exercising 30 minutes a day, six days a week, but Dr. Mieres says it’s still beneficial even if you can only exercise 10 minutes at a time, whenever you can fit it in – in the morning, during your lunch break, or before bed.
- When it comes to eating, you should try to get as much color as possible onto your plate, eat a variety of vegetables, have fish two or three times each week, and limit your intake of carbohydrates.
- Reducing stress may be easier than you think – get in a good laugh, relax and breathe deep each day.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco, as these are two of the more important risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels, causing the arteries to become narrowed and possibly leading to a heart attack. Nicotine in cigarette smoke also makes your heart work harder by narrowing blood vessels and increasing blood pressure and heart rate.
- Maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your risk of heart disease, including diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Heart Disease Symptoms in Young Women
Young women have been shown to experience different symptoms of heart disease than just the stereotypical chest pressure we all know about. According to Dr. Mieres, warning signs for heart disease can include indigestion, back pain, fatigue and arm pain as well. As is always recommended, consult your doctor to discuss heart disease symptoms and risk factors, especially if you have a family history of heart disease or other heart problems. With proper prevention and a healthy lifestyle, statistics show that heart disease is preventable 80% of the time, so avoid serious heart problems tomorrow by adopting a healthy lifestyle today!