Startling fact: Nearly once a minute, a woman in the United States dies of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death among women in the U.S., causing more fatalities than all cancers combined. And while it is typically associated with men, since 1984, heart disease has actually killed more women than men, bringing with it a 28% mortality rate for victims within the first year of a heart attack.
Through recent movements such as Go Red for Women, heart disease has increased in awareness. No longer is it being overshadowed but is being brought to the forefront through rallies, walks and emotional survival stories, all of which are letting women know that they need to be proactive in protecting their hearts.
According to the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, one of the most important steps in preventing heart trouble is knowing your risk factors. While some may be beyond your ability to control (e.g., age, ethnicity and family history), there are several factors that are completely within a woman’s power to change. These include blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, weight and physical activity.
This month, we at Life Priority want to encourage our female readers to seriously examine the condition of their hearts. The statistics don’t lie, and if you’re not careful, you could be one of them. Start by increasing your physical activity level and eating more whole grains and produce. Visit your doctor to have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and prioritize stress management and proper sleep. Investigate vitamins and supplements that aid in a healthy heart.
More than anything, keep in mind the loved ones who are counting on you to be around in the future. Just picturing their faces could be all the motivation you need in order to put down the fork and pick up your walking shoes.
When it comes down to it, heart health is more than just about your physical well-being. It’s about being able to live the full, active, joyful life you desire. Don’t let heart disease hold you back from experiencing all that life has to offer. Get your ticker pumping and embrace the future with excitement!