Despite what many may think, cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke) is the number one killer for women in Ireland. It took the lives of more than 4,000 women last year. But 80 per cent of premature death from cardiovascular disease is preventable. Studies have shown that lifestyle choices really can make a difference to women's heart health. So we've got some tips you can put in to practice to reduce the risk.
How to Improve Women's Heart Health
There are number of ways to improve women's heart health. Little things can really make a difference. Here are some of our top tips:
1. Eat a healthy diet. There are studies that show that there are benefits to incorporating Omega 3 (plentiful in oily fish, flaxseed) into your diet. Alternatively, you can supplement Omega 3 if you prefer. Try to keep saturated fats to a minimum.
2. Your heart is a muscle and like any other muscle in your body, it benefits from regular exercise to keep it strong. A strong heart can pump more blood around your body with less effort. Exercises such as walking, swimming and running are great options to keep your heart healthy.
3. Stop smoking. If you’re a smoker, the air you breathe in is contaminated with chemicals which can damage your heart and blood vessels. Smoking is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease so it's essential to stop.
4. Keep in touch with your doctor regarding your blood pressure and cholesterol; do what you can to keep these within the guidelines that your healthcare professional recommends.
What should I be looking out for?
The most important thing is for us all to be on the lookout, to identify the risks in our lifestyles. Heart disease affects women of all ages, although the risks do increase with age. Even if you are keeping fit, there's still a chance you might be affected by it.
Factors like cholesterol (it could be heredity), eating habits and smoking can outweigh your other healthy habits. If you have a family history of heart disease, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. In some ways it gives you a head start in being conscious of your cardiac well-being.
The key thing to remember is that with the right information, education and care, heart disease in women could be treated and even prevented.
Remember: Your Health Is Non-Negotiable!
It's important to look after women's heart health. For more information on how you can support a healthy heart, take a look at 8 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health.
Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.
It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.
Checked and updated: 9 August 2021