You’re the pulse of the family, which is why taking care of your own heart is a top priority. The unsettling news is that heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in American women. And while certain risks cannot be avoided—such as family history, age or race—it’s comforting to know that there are many risk factors you can personally control.
Start with a few pointers from ProMedica physician and electrophysiologist Kamala Tamirisa, MD. Dr. Tamirisa offers healthy lifestyle habits to help keep your heart healthy and lower your risk of heart disease.
Start with a satisfying breakfast. Begin your day with a breakfast rich in fiber to help lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full. Oatmeal, whole-grain toast or a high-fiber cereal topped with fruit or walnuts will do the trick.
Get moving. Moderate exercise for 30 – 60 minutes a day most days of the week will give your heart a healthy workout, strengthen your cardiovascular system, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure.
Kick the habit. Smokers have more than twice the risk for heart attack than nonsmokers. It increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance, decreases HDL (good) cholesterol, and is the biggest risk factor for young women when it comes to heart disease.
Just relax. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Find calming activities that allow you to de-stress throughout the day. Don’t forget, including these habits into your daily routine doesn’t have to be a chore. When you already have to balance family, work and other responsibilities on a day-to-day basis, worrying about your heart may be the last priority on your mind. So start with a goal that’s easy to achieve, like taking an hour of “me time” and gradually add in exercise, diet and rest to your schedule.
Talk to your primary care physician or health care provide about managing your heart health.