This month is the annual heart and stroke awareness month – and this year their message is geared towards women. My Heart In my Hands is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of some of they factors around heart disease in women, including unhealthy eating, a lack of exercise, and the inability to manage stress.
By making lifestyle choices, the risk of premature heart disease and stroke can be lessened by as much as 80 per cent.
Know the risks
Be smoke free
Don’t drink too much alcohol
Control your blood pressure
Manage your stress
Develop regular physical activity
Manage your weight to decrease the risk of diabetes
Exercise and Nutrition
Diet and exercise are important for a healthy heart. Participating in a minimum of 2 sessions of weight-bearing exercise plus 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week is recommended.
Eating seven to eight servings of vegetables and fruit each day, plus limiting your consumption of saturated and trans fat, sodium, sugar, and alcohol also puts you on the right track.
Within one year of quitting, your risk of suffering a smoking-related heart attack is cut in half. Everyday smoke free is a day towards a healthier life.
Manage blood pressure, cholesterol levels and diabetes
High blood pressure and cholesterol levels are major risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Talking to your doctor and controlling your blood pressure levels, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and heart rate are essential to your heart health.
Stress may affect behaviours and factors that increase cardiovascular risk, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, smoking, drinking, physical inactivity and overeating.
Learn more about women’s unique risk factors for stroke and heart disease on the Heart and Stroke Foundation website.