women-1-300x199When most women think of supporting health, they rarely think of cardiovascular wellness. However, maintaining a healthy heart is as important for women as for men.

Up until recently, most of the research done on the heart focused on men, giving us ample information about men’s hearts but very little information about women’s. Now, researchers believe that a woman’s heart may be intrinsically different. Not only are women’s hearts and arteries naturally smaller, but they may even be “wired” to beat faster and relax slower.

But the differences end when it comes to supporting a healthy cardiovascular system. Anyone can support cardiovascular wellness by changing their lifestyle, including:

 

  • Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke
  • Eating a healthy diet emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, poultry, beans, seeds and nuts, and low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt and added sugars
  • Choosing the right fats in your diet: omega-3 fatty acids, a type of unsaturated fat, can be found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts
  • Getting 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing stress
  • Getting plenty of sleep and rest
  • Considering food supplements containing omega-3 fatty acid to support a varied and balanced diet

Women, here’s my message to you: Be proactive in caring for your cardiovascular system. If your doctor doesn’t discuss heart health with you, ask questions and discuss concerns. In short, be your own advocate.

What steps do you take to support heart health?



Sources:
http://www.bidmc.org/CentersandDepartments/Departments/Medicine/Divisions/
CardiovascularMedicine/YourHeartHealth/TipsforHeartHealth/HeartDiseaseDifferences
BetweenMenandWomen.aspx