Heart health – Do you take an active approach?
Menopausal women are at greater risk of any kind of cardio-vascular disease. Are you the one who goes to the doctor every year and to get screened?
If not, I would strongly suggest you do so.
Then, if and when that’s done, I recommend that you start to be proactive about it.
It’s not enough to get your testing done and if you are in the ‘normal’ range you think it’s all ok and you can wait until the following year.
Although your cholesterol may be in normal ranges, these values are generic and the results are not compared year to year.
So for example, if the first year your cholesterol number is 150, and normal range is up to 200 you’re ok. Then the second year it’s 198, your doctor will still say it’s normal but you have increased 48 points, and that should definitely be a red flag for you and a trigger for you to do something about it.
A woman’s heart is different from a man’s heart. Not in the basics, but our heart is normally smaller and so are our veins. Also, these veins are more sensitive to hormones and stress. In women, heart attacks are sometimes missed because our symptoms are different. Sometimes even, the symptoms we have are dismissed as menopausal or perimenopausal problems.
You should therefore be aware of the risk factors you’re exposed to, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol.
While men have complaints of contraction and pressure on the chest, women complain about fatigue, shortness of breath and back pain.
The risks of cardiovascular disease are the same for men and women:
- High blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- High cholesterol
Smoking however, is the main risk factor in women for having a stroke before the age of 50.
Now, it’s not all gloom and doom if you take an active approach to your health.
Rather, it’s about focus and balance.
A big thing for women is that they have to learn how to say no. We just take things on and on, and end up really stressed out. This is definitely not good for our blood pressure and heart health.
I know this can be difficult and awkward to do, but you MUST learn to say no, so that over time your life will get easier. Your heart will appreciate it ❤️
And then you have to move more. Especially when you have a job where you sit all day.
Personally I set a timer. I downloaded Focus-To-Do (an app) on my phone and it goes off every 25 minutes to remind me to move around for 5.
If I wouldn’t be reminded, I’d be sitting all day long behind my computer. Which is a tremendously bad idea!
Also, please find a type of movement you really enjoy so that you look forward to doing this every day. Also try to do different types of exercise.
Strength training is oh so necessary for us women but can be boring, so do this twice a week, and then do something completely different on the other days.
Add also some relaxation exercises like yoga or tai-chi to your week.
Don’t look at movement as something you HAVE to do, but rather as something you ENJOY to do.
Watch what you put in your mouth. Don’t stress about diets, that is also a bad idea, but stick to a healthy plant-based diet with good protein and healthy fats. Don’t forget these two.
We need protein for our muscles which diminishes a lot at our age, and healthy fats to support cell growth, produce hormones and neurological function, to name a few.
We have been very afraid of fats for a long time, but a diet of “light” products is really not healthy for your body, so steer clear of them.
The bad fats are the Trans fats. These fats are the by-product of a process called hydrogenation. They are found in all processed foods, so stick to natural and mostly unprocessed products.
I could talk on and on about heart health, a topic very much related to lifestyle, but I think you have enough for now.
If you want to dig deeper and eager to learn more, then book a call with me and let’s have this deeper conversation.
Keep your heart healthy and keep it safe!
With love and health,