It’s estimated that 90% of women in the United States will develop at least one or more risk factors for heart disease in their lifetime. Yet in 80% of these cases, heart disease is preventable.
To protect your existing and long-term heart health, the experienced medical team at Urology Specialist Group want to provide some insight into what you should know about your heart health as a woman.
By staying informed and proactive about your general women's health, you can minimize your risk for heart disease-related complications including stroke, heart attack, and premature death.
How to proactively protect your heart health
There are things you can do each day to improve and protect your heart health. The physicians at Urology Specialist Group recommend:
Schedule routine screenings
Many underlying conditions that contribute to cardiovascular disease don’t cause symptoms in their earliest stages. For this reason, it’s important that you undergo routine health screenings to identify them as soon as possible.
You should receive regular screenings to check your blood pressure and cholesterol. You also need routine evaluations of your blood sugar levels to identify prediabetes and diabetes.
Regular screenings are recommended for women of all ages, especially those who have a personal or family history of these conditions or other heart-related issues. If you had gestational diabetes or hypertension during a pregnancy, be sure to let your doctor know.
Clock in enough sleep every night
If you continually get less than six hours of sleep at night, you’re not doing your heart any favors. Continued lack of sleep puts a strain on your heart and can increase your risk for high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease
Keep your stress in check
As a woman, daily stress can seem endless. Between work and family obligations, you may be dealing with unhealthy amounts of stress that ultimately take a toll on your heart.
Learning how to cope with your stress is vital for keeping your blood pressure healthy and reducing your risk for heart disease. You can practice deep breathing exercises or seek professional counseling to break the high stress cycles in your life.
Move, move, move
A sedentary lifestyle is a common contributing factor for heart disease. When you’re not physically active, it can compromise your blood circulation. You are also more likely to maintain an unhealthy weight, which also places an unnecessary strain on your heart.
Today’s technology makes it easy to track the number of steps you take in a day. Aim to meet a 10,000-step goal every day and work your way up to a higher count as you can.
Not only will more activity in your day protect your heart health, it also increases mental clarity and makes it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
Protect yourself after menopause
Menopause, the time when your periods stop for good, is also a time where your heart disease risk increases. In your younger years, you have plenty of estrogen – a hormone that protects your heart health.
When your estrogen levels decline in menopause, you may be more likely to develop high levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the bad cholesterol that can build up in your arteries and increase your risk for heart disease.
To schedule a women’s health exam today, call the Urology Specialist Group office nearest you or request an appointment through the online booking system.