Heart disease has always been seen as a men’s problem. But according to Women’s College Hospital, women are 10 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than any other illness. But the good news is that a healthy lifestyle and some solid knowledge about risk factors and symptoms can go a long way to prevent it; here are a few tips to help you keep your heart in good shape.
It’s a given that most young couples struggle to balance their working lives with family time. This can make it hard to take valuable time off for the whole family to spend on trips and vacations. However, there are many places that can be visited and fully experienced in the span of a weekend, so you don’t have to travel too far or spend that much on a short getaway.
The journey itself can be a great bonding experience for everyone. Plus, getting some fresh air away from a busy city can be incredibly therapeutic for the whole family.
Tip: Work out with a buddy. Studies have shown that exercising with a friend makes you more likely to stick with it.
Stay healthy with a nutritious diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and lean proteins. Do your best to avoid sugars, saturated fats and highly processed foods.
Tip: Hungry? Grab a handful of walnuts — they’ll fill you up, and they’re full of omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation in the arteries.
Cortisol, the hormone produced by stress, makes your arteries more vulnerable to plaque buildup. Do whatever it takes to relax. Spend time with friends, practice yoga, go for a walk, watch a movie that makes you laugh, or just close your eyes for a few minutes and breathe.
Tip: Exercise is a proven stress-buster. Next time you’re feeling frazzled, hit the gym or take a walk.
People who sleep less than seven hours a night have higher levels of cortisol — and are at higher risk for heart disease. Seven to eight hours is ideal.
Tip: Cut down on caffeine (avoid it after lunch if you have trouble sleeping) and practice a wind-down routine that has you relaxed and sleepy when it’s time for bed.
This is a no-brainer. Health coverage for the entire family should be one of the very first things discussed by couples once they start to discuss having a family. It only takes one tragic moment, accident or diagnosis to throw your family into financial ruin. With your family insured, you can get on and enjoy family life with peace of mind.
Tip: Quitting cold turkey is tough. Talk to your doctor about therapies that can help make it easier.
You can’t control risk factors like your age, gender, family history and ethnicity. But being aware of those risks can help you watch for early symptoms — and get treatment when you need it.
Tip: Talk to your doctor to see if you’re at risk for heart disease.