Healthy Life – Healthy Heart

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again and again – get healthy. Sounds simple enough, but you know from experience it’s not. It takes time and effort to be healthy and with all that’s going on in your life, you may already feel like you’re burning the candle at both ends just to keep up. You’re not alone; lots of women feel that way. Unfortunately, your heart may be a ticking time bomb that’s shortening that candle with every passing day.

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in women and your risks go up with menopause. Developing heart disease could shorten your life span considerably and limit your abilities during your remaining years. Put that way, it makes it more imperative that you take steps now to be healthy – no matter how busy you are – while you still have a chance to try to prevent heart disease or reverse some of its effects.

Get an overall check-up.

First and foremost, take time to schedule a visit with your doctor. Get a head-to-toe and well-woman examand go over any and all health concerns you may have. Discuss menopause, your risks for heart disease, and any known personal or family risk factors. Talk about your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol numbers, and blood sugar levels. If you have any underlying health issues and take any medications or supplements, talk about those, too. The more information you and your doctor have, the better able you’ll be to work together to make you as healthy as possible.

Make an effort to break bad habits.

There are several bad habits that could be increasing your risks for heart disease. Besides diet and exercise issues, they include smoking, not getting enough sleep, ignoring sleep apnea, staying stressed, and not making regular visits to your primary care physician, optometrist, dentist, and other specialists.

It can seem overwhelming if you try to change everything all at once, so prioritize and take it one at a time. The sooner the better, of course, so don’t let yourself fall into a lackadaisical plan filled with excuses.

Revamp your diet and exercise plans.

You likely know the basics, but following them does take some effort. When you’ve had a long day, it can be too easy to use the drive-thru to pick up dinner and then eat it in front of the TV. But it’s really important that you eat healthy and get some regular exercise.

If you need to, start slowly. Pack a lunch so you can control your choices and portions. Park farther from the door to work a bit of exercise into your schedule. Those don’t take much time but add a bit of health to your day. Start walking every day and you may be surprised at the results. It can boost your mood and energy and let you think more clearly, making it well worth the time and effort.

Connect with people.

Spending time with family and friends is healthy for you. It can be relaxing, build your self-esteem, and give you opportunities to enjoy yourself. Connecting with others can also lead to less anxiety, depression, and stress, all of which are harmful for your heart.

Your family and friends can also encourage you to eat well, exercise with you, and keep you on track with healthy habits. You can in turn help them do the same.

Take time to relax.

As relaxing as it can be to spend time with family and friends, you may also need to build some time into each day to be alone. You can combine it with a walk in the park, taking a bubble bath, or reading a good book.

What’s important is to learn relaxation techniques that you practice regularly so your mind and body can de-stress. You’ll feel better which in turn makes it easier to practice the healthy lifestyle that’s necessary for a healthy heart.


This content was written by staff of by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support. Reprinted with permission: Healthy Life – Healthy Heart

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