6 Heart Health Mistakes Made by Women—and How to Avoid Them

Overview

Despite the fact that the heart disease is the number one cause for death of women in the US, there is still a common misperception that it is a guy thing. Often women fear breast cancer more although they are eight times more likely to die of the heart disease. As per Pamela Ouyang, MBBS, director of the John Hopkins Women’s cardiovascular health center, “The message is getting out more but women still need help to understand their risk factors”. Now let us check out if any of these heart health mistakes often made by women apply to you.

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Believing You’ll ‘Know’ When You Need to Get Your Blood Pressure Checked

Its great to be in tune with your body, but this approach will alone has its limits. Women often tell the doctor, “I got dizzy, so I knew my blood pressure was high”. You won’t know when you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol which are silent conditions.

How to proceed: Get the blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar measured regularly by your doctor. These tests can flag your risk for future heart trouble.

Installing an Exercise Bike in the Home

Having a bike or a treadmill itself is great. The trouble is that you have to use it often and that’s where many women go wrong. Hence, they decide to embark on a new exercise program which is not that fun, convenient and so far after an initial push as they slack off.

How to Proceed: Pick up an activity which is fun for you or so you’ll want to do it often such as running with a friend or walking around the mall.

Smoking Weight Down

Keeping your weight in a normal range is great for your heart. But using cigarettes for weight control snuffs out the good effects. This is because smoking is a leading cause of the cardiovascular disease.

How to Proceed: Control your weight with exercise and diet. Do not count on e-cigarettes, either. According to Dr. Ouyang, “They may not be as healthy as it has been hoped initially as it is still nicotine”.

Not Knowing the Warning Signs of Heart Trouble for You

A heart attack can be present differently in women than it does in men. Expecting a chest crushing episode, women will ignore other danger signs.

How to Proceed: If you notice abdominal pain, nausea, difficulty breathing or other bothersome symptoms which are unusual for you. Therefore it is important to consult with your doctor.

Avoiding Hormone Replacement Therapy at Menopause Because It’s Bad for the Heart

Some women may suffer unnecessarily through intense hot flashes and sleep disturbances. While it’s no longer believed that the hormone replacement therapy can help protect the heart at menopause, it doesn’t mean you need to avoid it. Ouyang says, “For most women in their 50s, the established cardiovascular risk is low and it is safe to take hormones”.

How to Proceed: If you need to take hormones for menopausal symptoms relief. Try a prescription at the lowest possible dose for the shortest period of time.

Thinking Certain Health Problems of Pregnancy Ended with Your Child’s Birth

Though your baby may no longer be inside you, but your heart, arteries and other organs still are. If you have hypertensive issue in pregnancy such as preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension or gestational diabetes, then you are at increased risk of heart problems later in life.

How to Proceed: Always inform a new doctor about your full health history so that he/she has necessary information to consider your individual needs.

 You can also read:

How to Keep Heart Healthy in Winters?

Heart Health for Women: What You Should Know

 

5 Lifestyle Changes for Heart Health

Making certain lifestyle changes can help prevent or treat the heart diseases, including, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, coronary artery diseases, etc. For some people, lifestyle changes may be the only treatment required for a healthy heart. In this post, I have collected the top five lifestyle changes for the heart health.Lifestyle Changes for Healthy Heart

  • Follow a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet plays an important part of a healthy lifestyle since it can prevent or reduce the high blood pressure and also help you maintain a healthy weight. A therapeutic lifestyle change or TLC is a three-part program which includes a healthy diet, physical activity and weight management. Less than 7% of your daily calories should come from saturated fats that can be found in dairy products, meats, chocolate, deep fried and processed foods and baked goods. About 25-35% should include fats and include foods high in soluble fibres such as whole grains, fruits, legumes, etc., which will help prevent the digestive tract from absorbing the cholesterol. Eat vegetables and fish. Limit the amount of sodium and alcohol intake. DASH or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension focuses on eating fruits,  whole grains, vegetables and other foods that are heart healthy and low in fat, cholesterol and salt, fat-free or low fat milk and dairy products. Heart Health Diet

  • Be Physically Active

Regular physical activity can lower many atherosclerosis risk factors, including the LDL cholesterol, excess weight and high blood pressure. It can lower your risk for diabetes and raise your HDL cholesterol, which helps preven atherosclerosis. Talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan to ensure which kind of physical activity is safe for you. Physical Activity

  • Maintain A Healthy Weight

Maintaining a healthy weight to a BMI of less than 25 can lower your risk for atherosclerosis. Consult your doctor or healthcare provider to set an appropriate BMI goal for you.

  • Quit Smoking Quit Smoking

If you smoke or use tobacco, then quit it; as smoking can damage and tighten the blood vessels and raise your risk for atherosclerosis. You should talk with your physician about the programs and products which help you quit smoking and also try to avoid second hand smoke. You can consider joining a support group, if you have trouble quitting smoking on your own. There are many hospitals, community groups and workplaces offer classes which help people to quit smoking.

  • Manage Stress Manage Stress

Some research shows that the most commonly reported trigger for a heart attack is an emotionally upsetting event involving anger. Additionally, some people cope up with stress by smoking, drinking or overeating and they aren’t  healthy. Learn how to manage stress by relaxing and coping with the problems can improve your emotional and physical health. Surround yourself with supportive people in your life with whom you can share your feelings and concerns thereby help you relieve the stress. Physical activity, relaxation therapy and medications also help relieve stress. You can consider taking part in a stress management program.

You can read more:

How to Keep Heart Healthy in Winters?

Heart Disease and Obesity – What Do We Know About It?

7 Professions That Are Bad For Your Heart Health

Recently, the scientists presented their work at the American Heart Association conference found that people in the 7 professions tend to have less healthy habits which affects their heart health adversely. According to a cardiologist, “when people have no autonomy and everything in their work day is constrained, this can have a hard result on their health.Professions Bad for Heart Health

The following 7 professions are bad for your heart health:

  1. Salesperson:SalespersonAbout 68% of the salespeople had poor eating habits and nearly 69% had bad cholesterol.
  2. Police Officers:Police OfficerThough many departments have fitness standards, approximately 90% of the police officers were found obese or overweight. About 77% of them had high cholesterol and 35% had high blood pressure.
  3. Firefighters:FirefightersNearly 90% of the firefighters were found obese or overweight and around 77% of them had high cholesterol and 35% of them had high blood pressure.
  4. Administrative Support Staff:Administrative Support StaffAs per the study, they struggle with their fitness goals and failed to maintain the “ideal” levels of physical activity.
  5. Transportation/ Material Movers:TransportationThey smoke more than any other profession and nearly a quarter of them smoke. Most of the smokers die from the heart diseases than the lung diseases.
  6. Restaurant Workers:Restaurant WorkersIt was found that around 79% of the restaurant workers have poor diets.
  7. Managers, Doctors and Lawyers:Managers and DoctorsAlthough most managers and professionals have a healthy lifestyle, but those in finance and business fields didn’t fare well since they have poor diets. The most healthiest professionals were managers, professionals like doctors and lawyers. They hit the gym regularly and about 75% of them are considered to be moderately active. About one-third of them had an ideal body mass and only about 6% of them smoke.