Heart disease is one of the leading causes of deaths. Here in America, heart disease impacts one in three. By the time a person celebrates their 80th birthday, over 85 percent will have heart disease.
Women are particularly vulnerable because they are twice as likely to receive a wrong diagnosis, as well as being mistreated when they go in. Heart disease isn’t just a man’s disease. It’s just as prevalent in women. And because women are more likely to act as caregivers for spouses and parents, it means they are at added risks.
Heart disease refers to the whole spectrum of heart conditions. It can include congenital heart defects, arrhythmias, or hardening of the arteries. With age, they lead to heart attacks and strokes. While we think of them as old age diseases, nothing shines the light on heart disease more than losing a celebrity in their 40s or 50s of heart disease to bring to light how many this impacts.
Hypertension – also known as high blood pressure – impacts one in three, with nearly half of those diagnosed being women. This is where blood flows through your arteries at a higher pressure level than normal.
New guidelines have recently been released, meaning even more people are included in the risk factors. Healthy systolic blood pressure has moved from 140 to 130, meaning more people are at risk.
By keeping your heart in the healthy range, there is less strain on your heart. That means it keeps your body healthier, putting you at less risk for developing heart conditions, or other diseases associated with heart disease.
If you don’t know what your current blood pressure reading is, the best place to start is by tracking your results. There are many blood pressure monitors on the market today, many with online features that can help you make better choices for your health. They can also let you connect your results with your doctor.
You can use your results to start making healthy choices in your life. Exercise is crucial for keeping risk factors down. A good exercise program includes things like walking, hiking, jogging, or even aerobic exercise classes depending on your current heart condition. You should always work with a doctor to develop the right program for you.
Don’t forget strength training. Resistance training has heart benefits that can help increase muscle mass and help with weight control. This includes things like squats, lunges, leg lifts, and other core strengthening exercises.
Talk with your doctor about finding a gym near you. Many places today offer multigenerational approaches to health, and can include exercise classes for the one you’re caring for, as well as opportunities for you too.
The best way to take control of your health is to know where you currently stand.