Seems like we hear so much these days about being heart healthy, eating heart healthy, living heart healthy. But what does it mean to be heart healthy? Well, of course it means that you’re doing whatever you can to make your heart as healthy as possible—through diet, exercise, lifestyle choices, and good healthcare. Let’s review.
Heart disease risk
Heart disease is a condition where the vessels carrying blood to the heart become blocked by plaque, a buildup of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. This blockage prevents blood from reaching the heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States.
The risks for heart disease that you have little control over include your age, family history, and early menopause. Other risks, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, are treatable. And then there are some that you have complete control over, including smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use.
So how can you live heart healthy?
Research shows that women can lower their heart disease risk by as much as 82 percent just by leading a healthy lifestyle. Tips include: