February is Heart Awareness Month with the aim of raising awareness about heart health and encouraging people to take action to improve their cardiovascular health. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and around the world.
Heart disease affects women in different ways than it does men, and the symptoms are often different too. Women may experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and pain in the chest, arms, neck, jaw, or back, which can be mistaken for other conditions. This is why it’s crucial for women to understand the risks and to take steps to protect their heart health.
There are several ways that women can improve their heart health, including:
- Eating a healthy diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, salt, and added sugars.
- Engaging in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking or cycling, for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.
- Maintaining a healthy weight, as being overweight or obese can increase the risk of heart disease.
- Not smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke.
- Managing stress and getting enough sleep.
- Getting regular check-ups and monitoring blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
By taking these steps, women can reduce their risk of heart disease and improve their overall health and well-being. Heart Awareness Month is a timely reminder for women to prioritize their heart health and take the necessary steps to protect their cardiovascular system.