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8 Ways You Can Improve Your Heart Health

By HERWriter
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8 Ways You Can Protect Your Heart Health pathdoc/Fotolia

Don't take your heart for granted. Women in the United States are just as vulnerable to heart disease as men. Almost 422,000 American women die from heart disease every year.

Approximately 1 out of 4 women who suffer heart attacks will die within one year compared to 1 in 5 men, according to the CDC website.

Black women have the highest risk of dying early from heart disease and stroke according to the CDC. Next in risk, are American Indian/Alaska Native, White, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander women.

Make yourself familiar with some ways you can protect your heart health.

1) Healthy diet and exercise.

The FDA recommends that you go for low salt or low sodium foods. Avoid trans fats and decrease your sugar intake. Be aware that corn syrup, fructose, glucose and sucrose are all sugars.

Help your heart by keeping at a healthy weight. If you are overweight, bring it down. A healthy diet and regular exercise will make a difference.

Heartandstroke.com recommends that you get 150 minutes or more of aerobic activity that is moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity every week. You can break it up into 10 minute blocks or more.

2) Stay on top of any health issues you may have.

Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol? These conditions can leave you more prone to having heart disease. Follow your doctor's instructions and heed any cautions concerning medications, testing and blood sugar level.

Being more active can also help you manage any health conditions you live with. For instance, heightened activiy can help regulate blood pressure.

3) Don't smoke.

If you do smoke, do whatever it takes to quit.

4) Don't drink too much.

Keep alcohol consumption low or moderate.

5) Learn your family history.

Becoming familiar with any medical conditions in your family history allows you to educate yourself and protect yourself.

6) Recognize the signs of heart attack.

Both women and men may have arm, jaw or throat pain, nausea, or increased sweating. The most common symptom they may share is chest pain.

Women may have a heavy ache or pressure in the chest, or pain in their arms, neck, jaw, back or upper abdomen. They may be short of breath or break out in a cold sweat. They may be dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.

7) Know the signs of stroke.

You may become suddenly weak or even paralyzed. Your face, arms and legs may become numb, possibly just on one side of your body. You may experience confusion, and have trouble speaking or understanding words. Visual disturbances, dizziness, and problems with balance and/or coordination may occur. You may become short of breath, and develop a sudden, intense headache. You may become unconscious.

8) Learn the scoop on aspirin.

The FDA says that aspirin is not right for everyone. Your doctor can help you determine whether you should be taking it.


Heart Health for Women. FDA.gov. Retrieved Sept. 23, 2015.

Women and Heart Disease CDC.gov. Retrieved Sept. 23, 2015.

Women and heart disease and stroke. Heartandstroke.com. Retrieved Sept. 23, 2015.

Visit Jody's website at http://www.ncubator.ca and http://ncubator.ca/blogger

Reviewed September 24, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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