Follow your heart-top tips to help reduce risk of heart disease
Recent studies have revealed that he two biggest barriers for women not maintaining a healthy lifestyle is ‘lack of time’ and ‘health not being a priority’.
It’s Women’s Health Week during September 4th-8th, and this year’s theme surrounds putting yourselves first, for just one week, in order to start making positive changes that can last a lifetime.
THE HEALTH OF THE ONES WE LOVE STARTS WITH US
Women today are leading busier lives and have a natural tendency to let themselves slip low on the priority list.
However, the health of those we love starts with us. By investing more time in ourselves, we are better able to look after the ones we love and care about.
Women’s Health Week 2017 is all about you and putting your health first. A major focus this year is about the importance of a healthy heart for our lovely ladies.
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death of women in Australia?
In fact, one in two women will be affected by heart disease during their lifetime.
A woman’s risk of heart disease also increases significantly around the menopause. It is thought this may be partly due to the drop in oestrogen levels that comes with menopause, as well as other changes that occur around this time
There are a number of risk factors we can’t do much about, such as our age, sex and family history; however, there are some risk factors that are within our power to change. Too much sitting, too little activity, being overweight, having high blood pressure, having high cholesterol or blood glucose levels, smoking and drinking excessive alcohol are all ‘lifestyle’ factors that we can do something about to reduce our chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Many risk factors for heart disease can be reduced with positive lifestyle changes. Heart disease is preventable. Keep reading to find out what you can do to help minimise risk.
8 top tips on how to reduce your risk of heart disease:
See your GP regularly. Having regular health checks with your GP is an important first step. These can include checking your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Be aware of the signs. Women may not experience the classic chest pain when having a heart attack. Instead, they may feel breathless, dizzy or sick, or have pain, tightness or discomfort in their arm, back or jaw.
Seek help early. Women often wait too long to seek help because they think they are not at risk of heart attack and don’t recognise the signs.
A healthy diet counts. Fruits, vegetables and fish form the basis of a heart-healthy diet. Aim to eat 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fresh fruit a day, as well as 2 serves of fish a week.
Move more. Did you know that too much sitting may increase the risk of heart attack? That’s because human beings are designed to move!
Quit smoking. When it comes to heart health, there are no winners if you smoke. If you are having trouble quitting, please seek help from your doctor, the Quit website or Quitline on 13 7848.
Reach out. Research shows that depression and loneliness can increase the risk of heart disease. Share your worries and lighten your heavy heart with friends and family, and please seek advice from GP your health professional.
Laugh it up. Laughing every day and having an active sense of humour has heart-healthy benefits. Studies show it may protect you against heart attack and reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus, a good belly laugh can send 20% more blood flowing through your body.
Your journey to a healthier you and happier heart starts today. Choose a couple of these tips and start to use them this week and beyond. Our GPs and medical team are here to help you, contact us for an appointment today!
Download the Women’s Health Fact sheet here