Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women. It isn’t breast cancer and it happens at all ages.
Women experience symptoms of coronary heart disease that are different than the classic left arm, squeezing, painful, ‘elephant sitting on your chest’ feeling. Some women have no symptoms at all. When there are symptoms, they are vague and could be anything – extreme fatigue, indigestion, sleep disturbance, arms feel heavy or weak, heart racing, anxiety, upper back pain. I mean, really – this sounds like a typical day for some women.
We women have a tendency to downplay our symptoms so we don’t seek help soon enough.
Risk factors include smoking, physical inactivity, overweight or obesity, diabetes, poor eating habits – all of which can increase blood pressure and heart disease.
What can we do?
Because it may be hard to see a heart attack coming, we have to do our best to improve our health in a consistent, life-long way.
Sleep – Poor sleep increases the risk of CVD and CHD. Get really good sleep – at minimum 7 hours, 8+ is better.
Eating – What and how we eat makes a difference in our heart health. There are many eating plans out there in the world. In general, eat whole foods that you prepare yourself. Limit fast food and processed foods as these contain a lot of sugar, fat and salt.
Limit caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks. Just drink more water.
Exercise – Be active and reduce the amount of time you sit. Move your body daily no matter what age you are. WALK.
Healthy weight – This is different for everyone and not all of us can have a 35” waist to be at a normal body weight. If you are overweight, set a goal to lose a small amount of weight to start. It can make a big difference in your heart health.
Blood pressure – See your doctor and get your blood pressure checked. She/He will do blood work and other tests to make sure your heart is healthy.
Quit smoking – It’s not an easy thing to do but it will make a tremendous difference in your health.
Sometimes we can see a heart attack coming and sometimes it comes out of the blue. By taking care of yourself in these important areas, you can reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke or other health problems. Consistency is the key. This isn’t a diet or a 30-day cleanse. This becomes your new WHEN Way of Life – taking better care of yourself for a longer, happier, healthier life. You have the power to do this and this gives HEART new meaning!
WHEN wants to make you more aware and support you in making changes that will improve your heart health and your new WHEN Way of Life. We provide one on one private guidance to help reduce stress and improve health through our three disciplines of Career, Being and Health. Our WHEN culture and programs are designed to help you focus on YOUR specific goals. We provide the daily tools to help you achieve greater success and healthier ways of living. Life can be better – every day!
Dr. Elaine, Chief Health Officer
Elaine ǀ WHEN Health Advisor®
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition.