Women’s Health – Straight to the Heart

01310574216_women-marathon.jpgIf you think men are more vulnerable to coronary disease than women, think again. Don’t wait for a warning sign – start looking after your heart today.

Statistics show one in three Australian women is at risk of heart attack, angina, stroke and peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Worse still, two thirds of women who die from a sudden heart attack have had no previous symptoms, according to The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women’s Health. Age, smoking, a lack of exercise, weight gain, diabetes and a poor diet all increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, as can family history.

The good news is that simple lifestyle changes can lower your chances of having a stroke or heart attack, says Professor Susan Davis, chair of Women’s Health at Monash University in Melbourne.

Regular exercise
Regular exercise is an extremely important factor in women’s health. Daily exercise can help control your weight and sugar levels, strengthen your heart, lower blood pressure, raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. “Women need to do moderate, endurance-type exercise for at least 40 minutes, three times a week, and include more activity in their everyday lives,” says Professor Davis.

Healthy heart diet
Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables that are high in antioxidants and vitamins such as folate is also crucial for heart health. There is evidence that replacing unhealthy fats with polyunsaturated fatty acids found in oily fish, leafy plants, canola and linseed oil can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Give Up Smoking
Giving up smoking will also improve your heart health. Nearly 40 per cent of smoking related deaths are caused by cardiovascular disease, according to NSW Health. This is because smoking increases an artery-clogging process called atherosclerosis.

Focus On Women’s Health – Five Sure-Fire Ways To Help You Feel Better

21310574189_women-running-beach.jpgThe physical and emotional health of women can have much broader impacts on the people closest to them and, others may argue, the social and economic health of the society as a whole. This is because women are often the primary care givers for ageing parents and children, and can take on nurturing roles within their local communities and schools as well.

The physical, emotional and mental health of women can therefore be the basis for the good health of everyone else. Men, too, have their trials and challenges but for a moment let’s consider women’s health.

Whether it is in the home or workplace, whether as a new mother or grandmother, whether it is as sister or best friend, wife or lover, women lead very busy lives! Taking on these significant responsibilities, and trying to lead with strength and support with tenderness, can sometimes mean there is very little energy leftover to care for oneself.

To safe guard your own health and happiness consider the following five sure-fire ways to boost your quality of life, relieve anxiety and take better care of you.

Exercise: Exercise is nice to think about but not so easy to do, especially if you haven’t done much in a while. The amazing thing about it is that just a little has a big effect. It will improve your mood almost straight away, and over time, your muscles and bones, which in turn will improve your overall heath especially later in life after menopause. You will be so glad you did any, and if it can be a little weight-bearing exercise, even better.

Walking is the easiest way to start if you haven’t been active for a while. Start slowly and work up to a fast walk for 20 to 30 minutes several times a week. Biking, dancing and stair-climbing are also good and free. Joining a gym or yoga class is also a great idea, if you can manage it, but it takes more time and money because you’ll need to get to classes on time and may need guidance with some of the exercises.

Food: What you eat has a big impact on your energy levels and mood, as well as your general health. Eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables is important for energy and to ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also assist in cleaning toxins from your system, as toxins can cause you to feel sluggish and gain weight.

Be sure to include plenty of water in your daily intake as well to make sure you stay hydrated; after all, your brain is depending on water to help you function at your best.

Relax: It is important for you to take the time to allow yourself to feel relaxed and peaceful sometime during your busy day. You may have a hobby, like to read, or enjoy your early morning tea alone. Take the time to be still at least once a day, and do something that feels good for you so you can have a moment where you can breathe and let your mind wander.

Surprisingly, without trying, you may find at this time that solutions to problems become evident. Laughter is another way to relax and let your thoughts go free for a short time. Try to laugh each day!

Regular checkups: There’s nothing worse than having an ache or pain and, not knowing what it is; you imagine all sorts of health problems.

Put your mind at rest and go see your doctor for the usual check ups. If you have no major problems you will worry less about the little aches and pains, and if you are heading for something serious, you will have caught it early which will help you get the best possible treatment sooner.

Try new things: Today it is easy to get good information about almost anything, from how to make a pond skimmer to how to keep the romance in your life. If there is something you’ve been curious about why not give it a try? From pottery to golf; guitar lessons to salsa dancing; digital photography to pattern making and fashion design. You could make your own cosmetics, eco-makeover your house, teach yourself to weld, or build a pizza oven in your backyard.

Learning new things, putting yourself in a situation to meet new people, and getting outside of your normal routine can improve yourself esteem and make life more interesting. You’ll be pleased you found the time to do something for you.