The heart is the most important organ in the human body after the brain (Image: Shutterstock)
Cardiovascular diseases remain one of the leading causes of death in women, accounting for 1 in every 5 female deaths.
Maintaining heart health is one of the vital things people should do to lead a healthy life. Some of the key risk factors that might lead to heart disease are high blood pressure, high LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, and smoking. Other medical conditions and lifestyle choices are also held responsible for the disease. The list includes diabetes, obesity, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and drinking too much alcohol.
Cardiovascular diseases remain one of the leading causes of death in women, accounting for 1 in every 5 female deaths. Let’s discuss what women can do to prevent heart disease.
- Lose weight
Obese women are at a higher risk of encountering cardiovascular disease. Any woman with a body-mass index of above 25 or waist circumference of more than 35 inches has an increased risk of heart disease.
- Physical Activity
Even if you are not obese, it is recommended to undergo 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise every week to keep your physical activity in check. Physical activity is walking, running, jogging, swimming, dancing, or any other activity that involves movement in the body.
- Heart-Healthy Diet
A low-fat and low-salt diet, lots of fibre, vegetables, fruits form a heart-healthy diet. However, one should avoid saturated fats, sugary items, processed food and red meat.
- Avoid Smoking
Women have started to smoke a lot, even though it is far less than men, smoking might be more detrimental in women than men. Female smokers die 14.5 years earlier than female non-smokers. Notably, e-cigarettes or vaping are equally bad.
- Limit alcohol consumption
One should limit how much alcohol they drink. Preferably it should not exceed one drink a day.
- Be in sync with your Circadian Rhythm
Adequate sleep and rest form an essential component of a sound cardiovascular system, irregular sleep hours and inadequate sleep might lead to increased blood pressure and adversely affect cardiovascular health. Decreasing screen time can help induce better sleep.
- Oral Contraceptive Pills
Even though naturally producing Estrogen is cardio-protective, post-menopause any externally given Estrogen can reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease. The contraceptive pills only increase the risk of heart disease and blood clot formation. Therefore, it is advised to take it cautiously and under medical supervision
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