We change as we age, and so do our risk factors.
If you are approaching menopause or have had a pregnancy with a preterm delivery, gestational hypertension/preeclampsia or gestational diabetes, ask for a cardiovascular risk assessment to learn how these events can affect your chance of having future heart problems.
Keep a notebook or use an app to track your numbers over time.
For example, do you know your blood sugar, blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels and weight? Are they under control or within a healthy range?
Aim to get 30-45 minutes of exercise most days.
Pick activities that get your heart pumping and that you enjoy. Walking, riding a bike, swimming—even gardening or heavy housework—count.
Talk with your health care provider about what exercise routine is best for you.
For tips to help get started, visit CardioSmart.org/MoveMore
Ask your provider what that number is, and pay attention to the fat around your waist.
Women with more of an apple-shaped body and too much fat around their waists appear to be at higher risk of serious heart issues.
Know your body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.
For more information, visit CardioSmart.org/LoseWeight.
Make healthy food choices every day. Learn which foods have hidden fats, empty calories and added sugars.
The Mediterranean and the DASH diets are two examples of heart-healthy plans. Plant-based diets rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables with lean protein are also good for heart health.
And don’t forget to control your portions.
For more information, visit CardioSmart.org/Nutrtition.
Too much stress can affect your health, so it's important to figure out ways to cope with stress.
Find time for yourself and to connect with what's important to you. Listen to your favorite music, meditate, try out a fun exercise or yoga class, or go for a walk with a friend.
If you feel overwhelmed at work or home, ask for help and only say "yes" to what you can handle.
Insufficient sleep is bad for the heart – not to mention for your overall health. Not getting enough quality shuteye is linked to a higher risk of high blood pressure.
A good rule of thumb for adults is to clock at least seven hours of restful sleep a night. Poor quality sleep may be due to sleep apnea, a sleep breathing disorder that is commonly associated with snoring and frequent disruption of sleep.
Talk with your health care provider about sleep habits, especially if you often wake up feeling unrested.