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10 Steps to Being Heart Smart During Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Fitness and Wellness after hysterectomyIf, despite all the red flags, you do nothing to minimize your risks for heart disease, you could suddenly find yourself dealing with a life threatening stroke or heart attack. Complacency and ignoring the warning signs of heart disease can kill you. If you do manage to live through the experience, you could have permanent, irreversible heart damage which will negatively impact you for the rest of your life. A stroke can also leave you physically and mentally impaired.

Is that what you want? Isn’t it better to take the time now to make better choices for better health?

You may be thinking you’ll have to spend all your free time in the gym and your diet will consist of only lettuce and yogurt. But that’s not true. You can enjoy a full and satisfying life while also being heart smart.

10 Steps for Being Heart Smart:

  1. Get moving – Go for walks, start an exercise program, play outside with kids or pets, anything. Just get out of your chair, off the couch, and do something!

  2. Eat healthy – Replace junk food with healthier but satisfying choices, drink plenty of water, increase fruits and veggies, and watch those fat grams and calories. It can sound hard, but once you get in the habit of checking labels and making better choices, it can become second nature.

  3. Find out your family history – If family members have suffered from heart disease, you could have an increased risk. Learn your family history so you can be proactive with your heart health. Reducing risks for heart disease is all the more important if there are genetics involved.

  4. Know your numbers – You need to know your numbers: blood pressure, pulse, BMI, cholesterol levels, and weight just to name a few. You also need to know if those numbers are healthy for you or if you need to be working to change them.

  5. Treat underlying health issues – You also need to treat hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and any other condition which puts you at greater risk for heart disease. That includes menopause. Don’t ignore symptoms and don’t skip prescribed medications.

  6. Manage stress – Chronic stress can be unhealthy. Period. But it's also bad for your heart. Stress can also cause you to make poor choices and choose bad behaviors which increase your risk for heart disease. Learning to manage stress is important for all aspects of your health.

  7. Don’t smoke – If you are a smoker, stop. You know it's bad for you and it increases your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can help you find a cessation program that’s right for you, and the American Heart Association has some tips, too.

  8. Minimize alcohol consumption – For women, that means no more than one glass a day. You may have heard wine is good for you, but too much alcohol can damage your heart muscle. Alcohol can also cause you to carry around some extra weight, another risk factor for heart disease.

  9. Don’t ignore snoring – Since you've entered menopause, you may have developed sleep apnea which can increase your risk for a heart attack. If your partner or friends say you've started snoring, talk to your doctor. If you are told to wear a device when sleeping, do it!

  10. Don’t discount menopause – Many symptoms of menopause can increase your risk for heart disease, so don’t pass them off as facts of life. Talk to your doctor and determine if hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or an alternative is right for you.

The bottom line – don’t be complacent. Ignoring your risks for heart disease and not taking steps to prevent them can be fatal. Know your risks and work to minimize them. It could save your life.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

01-15-2017 - 11:52 PM


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