Many women are unaware that heart disease is the greatest threat to their health. Yet, heart disease takes more women’s lives annually than every form of cancer combined. The American Heart Association (AHA) urges women to spend as much time taking care of their hearts as they do their families, jobs and homes. Lifestyle changes can reduce a woman’s risk of heart disease by as much as 80 percent. Even making incremental improvements can make a huge difference.
- Move Your Body – When you’re over-worked, over-scheduled, over-tired — or dare we say all of the above? — The last thing you want to hear is that you should get to the gym. But the good news is that moving a little is far better than not moving at all. Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity such as brisk walking 5 times a week. Studies suggest that substituting two days of strength training can also hold heart healthy benefits. Losing as few as 5 to 10 pounds can have tremendous benefits for your heart.
- Manage Your Blood Pressure – High blood pressure increases the strain on your heart and arteries. For women who typically act as head of household while also maintaining a career, stress can be a huge driver of unhealthy blood pressure. Quiet reflection or yoga for 15 minutes a day can help drive down stress levels and lower your blood pressure.
- Floss Your Teeth – It’s one of the easiest things you can do to maintain good general health. Oral health has far reaching implications. Research suggests that inflammation and bacteria found in the mouth are linked to the heart causing heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke. Find a dental pick or floss that works for you and carry it with you in your purse. Besides maintaining good oral health, who hasn’t gotten a piece of food stuck in their teeth during the day and wished they’d had some floss?