A Woman's Heart
Women experience heart disease differently than men. That’s why we work diligently to educate women on the importance of cardiac health. The cardiologists and staff at the Parkview Heart Institute offer the following advice to help you maintain a strong and healthy heart through the decades.
In your 20s: commit to healthy habits
Smoking tobacco is the single health habit most closely related to over-all heart health. Women who smoke probably started in their teens. Choosing not to smoke reduces the risk of future heart disease.
Choose from this wellness checklist to create a heart-healthy lifestyle.
1. Get 6 - 8 hours sleep each night
2. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables
3. Drink water rather than soda or sugary coffee drinks
4. Experiment with various fitness activities until you find one or two that you enjoy.
In your 30s: team with your doctor to assess your risks
High blood pressure and high cholesterol often show up during a woman’s 30s. It is time to choose a family physician or internist with whom you have a good rapport. Together you can pinpoint any lifestyle changes you may need to make to control your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Adopt this wellness checklist to help you stay heart healthy.
1. Tame stress
2. Get 6 - 8 hours sleep each night
3. Eat balanced, healthy meals
4. Exercise for 40 minutes, at least 3 times per week
In your 40s: do not let your busy life sidetrack good habits
By this decade, most women have completed their childbearing and have every minute filled with career and family obligations. Be sure to keep your health a high priority through exercise and healthy eating.
Our wellness checklist encourages you to invest in your own health.
1. Choose more balance and less stress
2. Find physical activities you like and stick with them
3. Eat heart healthy meals
4. Get regular health check-ups
In your 50s: know your numbers
This is the time when women need to truly “take ownership” of their own cholesterol, blood pressure, lipids, and blood-sugar levels. It is also not too late to put primary prevention measures into practice, such as a healthy diet and physical activity.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent heart disease in your 50s:
1. Monitor changes in your body and share this information with your doctor
2. Get heart screenings and know your numbers
3. Watch what you eat
4. Get regular physical activity
In your 60s, and beyond: stay on top of any developing heart issues
Beyond age 60, symptoms such as angina (chest pain) or shortness of breath may begin to occur. From this age on men and women are increasingly likely to manifest heart disease. A woman's cardiac symptoms can be intense or unusual pain, or discomfort, in a part of the body not usually associated with the heart. Unusual pain or any other sign must be taken seriously.
Living heart-healthy now can improve your future. Here are a few things you can do in your 60s and beyond:
1. Know your risk for developing heart disease
2. Know your numbers
3. Keep moving
4. Eat heart-healthy meals