Did you know that once a woman reaches the age of 50, about the age of natural menopause, her risk for heart disease increases dramatically?
Menopause is a process during which a woman’s reproductive and hormonal cycles slow, her periods (menstruation) eventually stop, the ovaries stop releasing eggs for fertilization and produce less estrogen and progesterone, and the possibility of pregnancy ends. Young women who have undergone early or surgical menopause and those who have gone through menopause but also have other heart disease risk factors, like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, inactive lifestyle or family history of heart disease are at greater risk of getting a heart disease or a stroke.
A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing heart disease in women. Incorporating the following tips into your everyday life may help you reduce your risk of heart disease during and after menopause:
Smokers have twice (or higher) the risk of heart attack than nonsmokers. In addition to eliminating cigarettes, you must also stay away from passive smoking as it also increases the risk of heart disease.
Exercise to get active :
The heart is like any other muscle — it needs to be worked to keep it strong and healthy. Being active or exercising regularly helps improve how well the heart pumps blood through your body. Activity and exercise also help reduce many other risk factors. It helps lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces stress, helps keep weight off, and improves blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor if you have been inactive before increasing your activity level.
Eat right food at the right time.
Follow a diet low in saturated fat; low in trans fat (partially hydrogenated fats); and high in fiber, whole grains, legumes (such as beans and peas), fruits, vegetables, fish and foliate-rich foods. Do not skip meals to stay heart healthy.
Treat and control medical conditions.
Diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are known risk factors for heart disease. Taking regular medical check up and consultation helps you to keep your risk factors in check and reduce your chances of getting a heart disease.