Nutrition and Fitness, Women's Health Tamar Raucher | 2 years ago

Women's Heart Health Tips: From Your 20s to Your 60s

Most women know that heart health starts with a healthy regimen of diet and exercise. But knowing this doesn’t always make putting healthy habits into practice easier – especially since such habits tend to be harder to maintain with each passing year.

“While exercise and diet are critical for long-term heart health, there are plenty of steps women can take over the years to avoid heart disease, as well as other cardiovascular issues,” says Reshma Vora, MD, of Mecklenburg Medical Group-Museum, part of Carolinas HealthCare System.

Here are just a few healthy tips for women to consider, ranging from your 20s to your 60s.

Women in Their 20s Dr. Vora believes starting early with heart health can pay off in the long run, especially when it comes to your exercise habits; creating a consistent regimen in your 20s can carry over for decades. You should also schedule annual physical exams with your primary care doctor; having your blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index (just to name a few) checked each year makes it easier for your doctor to catch sudden changes. Your 20s are also a time to shift from bad habits you might have picked up in college. For example, it’s never too soon to quit smoking. Women in Their 30s For women with children and/or full-time jobs (or both!), it gets much harder to maintain an exercise regimen. One tip is to turn family outings into family activities to encourage more exercise. Stress is something that must be managed, too. Incorporating ways to de-stress ensures a healthy heart rate and blood pressure level. In your 30s you can also explore your family tree to find out if you’re subject to a higher level of heart disease risk. Women in Their 40s Getting older means it gets tougher to maintain healthy weight levels. Even if you’re still working out consistently, your metabolism slows down considerably. Diet becomes even more important. Dr. Vora says that once women reach age 45, they should definitely have their blood sugar levels checked. As long as you’re not at immediate risk for diabetes, this is a test that can be done every three years. Women in Their 50s and 60s Though it’s obviously important no matter the decade, diet takes on increased importance the older you get. Women in their 50s and 60s should be eating a balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish. By this age, you might have developed issues with high blood pressure or cholesterol levels, so it’s important to follow your primary care doctor’s treatment plan. Now is also a good time to familiarize yourself with heart attack and stroke symptoms, simply so you can receive quick treatment if you suffer either one. We encourage heart health and education. To receive tips like these, visit www.carolinashealthcare.org/attheheart Have questions about heart disease? At Carolinas HealthCare System, we’re committed to making it as easy as possible to keep you and your family healthy, whether you’re in your 20s or your 60s. To find a primary care doctor who can help you keep your heart healthy, call 844-881-2180 or request an appointment online today.