Seven ways for women to improve their heart health!

Posted on March 20, 2014

In the years after the menopause the risk to women of getting heart disease significantly increases.  You may also be interested to know that heart disease is three times more likely to kill women in the UK than breast cancer.

Bluecrest Health screening have put together the following list of ways to protect yourself.

1.   Have a cholesterol and blood pressure test

If you are over 40 it is important to look at your key health markers – something one of our screenings could do. Your health check includes a risk assessment, which will let you know how likely you are to develop heart disease within the next 10 years. You can then use this information to start to reduce that risk.

Your screening also includes full lipid profile (cholesterol) and glucose check.

To book a health screening call us on 0800 652 2173

2. Protect your heart – stop smoking

Statistics say that as a smoker you are twice as likely to have a heart attack as if you don’t smoke. They also reveal that more men have been giving up smoking in comparison to women, so much so that there are now more young women smokers than young men.

The evidence is proven – stopping smoking is going to decrease your chances of developing heart disease.

3. Do more exercise! 

It is known that women are not doing enough physical activity to protect their hearts, with only one in four doing the recommended amount per week.

Why not ditch the car and walk more often?  Take up swimming or cycling?  The recommended amount of moderate intensity aerobic exercise you need to be doing every week is about two and a half hours in total.

4. Shift that excess weight!

We have all read the headlines about the increasing weight of our nation.  An average of six out of ten women are now classed as overweight or obese.  Your heart has to work harder if you are carrying too much weight, you are also more likely to have higher cholesterol and high blood pressure which can both increase your risk of developing heart disease.

5. Drink moderately to help your heart

A small drink can actually be good for your heart!  It is very important that it remains a small drink though as excess drinking, binging and too much alcohol will increase your risk of developing heart disease and can damage the heart muscle which can lead to abnormal heart rhythms.

Keep to a maximum of or one or two units of alcohol a day. Units of alcohol for any alcoholic drink can usually be found on the label.

6. Less salt, less fat.

It is very easy to eat more salt and saturated fats than is recommended.  Take time to read the labels of the processed foods you are eating as the amounts of salt, sugar and fat might surprise you.

The following table is contains the Recommended Daily Amounts for women.

Calories (Kcals)

2000

Total fat

70g

Saturated fat

20g

Unsaturated fats

50g

Carbohydrates

300g

Protein

45g

Fruit and Veg

At least 5 portions

Salt (sodium)

5g max (2g sodium)

Fluids (ideally Water but also includes squash, fruit juices, milk, tea and coffee etc.)

6 – 8 glasses (1.2 litres)

Alcohol

2-3 units max (but no more than 14 units in a week)
7. Don’t stress out!

There are many studies that suggest stress may be a factor that can contribute to heart disease.  If you find yourself frequently stressed out then take steps to avoid these situations as well as learning to relax more often.