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Five Ways Women Can Prioritize Heart Health (Moms, This Means You!)

Five Ways Women Can Prioritize Heart Health (Moms, This Means You!)

By Your Health Blog
Posted: May 15, 2024

Beyoncé said it best: Who run the world? Girls! 

And girls often grow into women who spend their time taking care of business—and taking care of others—while ignoring, or downplaying, their own health and wellness needs. 

While it’s true women tend to live longer than men, it’s also true that more than one in three women lives with some form of heart disease. In fact, every 80 seconds, a woman loses her life to heart disease such as heart attack or stroke—and what’s worse? Differing warning signs for women than men (e.g. nausea or unexplained weakness, rather than acute chest pain) mean women are more likely to delay seeking care.

“Heart attacks are misdiagnosed more often in young women than men, leading to the loss of vital time during cardiovascular emergency and a disproportionately higher mortality rate for women with heart disease than men,” said Dr. Meron Teshome, a cardiologist at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

The good news? About 80% of heart diseases can be prevented, or course-corrected with time and care.


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Ways Women Can Prioritize Heart Health

May is a big month for women between Mother’s Day and the May 12-18 observance of National Women’s Health Week—so at Healthier 901, we’re uplifting five ways women can place a premium on good heart health, reducing their risk for preventable disease and claiming more years with the people they love: 

1. Create (At Least) a Little Space for Calm

We know, we know … for those with a full plate and/or a full house, the notion of a scheduled daily “de-stress” may seem way out of reach. But trust us—the more you’ve got going on, the more you need this (there’s a reason we put it first). Stress kills, literally, by increasing our risk for health problems from diabetes and depression to heart disease and hypertension, or high blood pressure. Here’s the good news: just five minutes (!) of daily meditation or deep-belly breathing can help boost your metabolism, lower your blood pressure and slow your heart and breathing rates. As an added bonus, you’ll even release muscle tension, ease stiffness and lessen feelings of anxiety. How ‘bout them apples?

2. Eat Nourishing Food

And speaking of apples … when it comes to good health, a colorful diet is key. Beyond those fruits and veggies (plus lean proteins and whole grains), women who enjoy cooking or baking can boost heart health by simply slimming down a favorite recipe(s). Suggestions include swapping out eggs for egg whites, subbing in evaporated skim milk for heavy whipping cream and replacing half the recipe’s butter, oil or shortening with applesauce (for this last one, you may need to reduce baking time by about 25%).

3. Sleep, My Pretties

With only 24 hours in every day, we know it can be hard to carve out any time for rest … let alone the 7-9 hours of nightly sleep experts recommend for good health. But chronic lack of sleep greatly increases our risk of high blood pressure, stroke and weight gain, as well as reducing our body’s ability to fight off infections. Aiming for seven hours of quality rest as often as possible keeps your body healthier for the long-term and the short-term—and who has time to get sick? Pro tip: Not sure where to start on better sleep habits? Try the Healthier 901 30-day sleep challenge (it’s totally free!).

4. Move it and Groove it

Regular physical activity is essential to a healthy (read: long) life, but this doesn’t mean you’ve got to join a gym or crush on-demand workouts—although Healthier 901 has you covered, if that’s your thing. You can get a move on in the garden, doing the dishes, going up and down stairs, walking furry friends or dancing it out with loved ones at the end of a long day. Just 30 minutes of movement 5+ days a week is proven to lower your risk of heart disease, plus improving cognitive function (buh-bye, brain fog!) and prompting better sleep.

5. Check in for a Checkup

Give yourself (and your loved ones!) the gift of preventive care by making time for annual screenings with your primary care provider (PCP) and OB/GYN. Checkups are a vital health component at any age, as they can help you stay on top of these critical numbers and detect potential health concerns early.

Join the Movement!

Healthier 901 is on a mission to help women and men across the Mid-South lose a whopping one million pounds, collectively—and healthy hearts play a huge part! So gals, what are you waiting for? Join the Healthier 901 movement today and treat yourself to the healthy life you deserve.