Heart disease kills about one woman a minute.
We’re talking about mothers, sisters, daughter, and friends who succumb to a disease that is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. And, more women than men die from heart disease as well.
Yet, unlike cancer, for most of us heart disease is preventable. It is a matter of education and lifestyle. First, you learn how to make more healthy choices, and then you enlist the support necessary to make a change for the better.
You don’t need to be a statistic – start now to live a healthier life and prevent heart disease. Here are some tips and helps:
Lose Weight: If you’re just looking at the fashion magazines to figure out how much you should weigh or what to look like, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Instead, at your annual physical have a talk with your doctor about how much you weigh and what would be an optimal weight for you. Then, enlist support with a personal trainer, family member, doctor, or nutrition expert to make a weight loss plan. Have the plan avoid fad diets, with the reward being accomplishing milestones along the way. Ultimately, you want to arrive at a new, healthier weight with a different lifestyle in place to maintain it.
Manage Your Stress: Extra stress can affect your heart’s health. Conscious choices and daily habits help to reduce your stress. Getting enough sleep and exercise are key, as well as seeing life from a slower pace and positive attitude. You may need to work with a personal coach, a therapist, a yoga teacher, or make a change in your work environment to reduce your stress. For a quick help, making a point for daily relaxation time can be an effective start.
Get Exercise: Without regular aerobic exercise almost every day, you put yourself at risk of heart disease. Our current Western lifestyle encourages sedentary behaviors, especially those that get you sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time! If you’re looking for an easy way to start an exercise program, walk. It’s the easiest form of exercise for most people. A great resource is the startwalkingnow.org — there’s all sorts of tips and ideas about how to fit more walking into your life.
Learn About Good Nutrition: A lot of us know that we should eat in moderation, pack in those fruits and veggies, and reduce our consumption of processed foods. The key is to put those basics into action! Menu planning can be an excellent tool in helping you to avoid unhealthy food purchases and stay on track with a more nutritional eating plan. And if you don’t know how to cook, look into inexpensive city recreational department classes, online videos (Food Network or YouTube), television shows, or friends and family. Just make sure that you’re learning healthy habits and menus.
If you’d like to learn more, The American Heart Association has many practical tips and helps for preventing heart disease – just click “Getting Healthy” at heart.org.
Photos by Dreamstime: Popovaphoto and Neeila