Did you know that the leading causes of death among adult women in the U.S. include heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease? Those are the facts according to statistics compiled by the CDC, but there are steps you can take to guard your health against these diseases and conditions. In fact, many threats to your health are actually preventable.
Staying healthy at all ages is vitally important to a woman's general health and wellness. A healthy, active, prevention-oriented lifestyle can reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, stroke and cancer.
Begin by talking to your doctor about your current health and risk factors for the diseases and conditions mentioned above. Be sure to get on the appropriate schedule for mammograms and other cancer screenings based on your age, family history and physician's advice. If you are already dealing with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes (all major risk factors for heart disease and stroke), follow all of your doctor's recommendations regarding ongoing treatment and medication.
Beyond managing chronic conditions, the best thing you can do to reduce the risk factors associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, stroke and cancer is to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.
Maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk for heart disease and certain cancers. Losing those extra pounds starts with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, essential nutrients and antioxidants. That means plenty of fruits and vegetables, high-fiber whole grains and lean protein sources like fish and chicken. Meanwhile, limit your intake of saturated and trans fats (found in butter, margarine and a wide variety of snack foods). Avoid fatty and cured meats as well as foods with added sugar and sodium.
If you haven't already, start a regular physical exercise routine. Consistent physical activity will help you lose or maintain weight, and it can also lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer. Regular physical activity also lowers stress and anxiety, which promotes overall wellness. Aim to get a minimum of 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise five times a week.
Be sure to incorporate cardio training, strength training and stretching routines into your weekly regimen. Well paced walking, running, biking and hiking are all good cardio activities. Strength training can take many forms, including weight lifting or circuit training. For increased strength, flexibility and mind-body connection, give yoga a try.
If you’re a smoker, quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Smoking has been directly linked to heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and emphysema. If you enjoy a glass of wine or other alcoholic drink on occasion, it probably won't adversely impact your health, but heavy drinking will, so remember to drink in moderation.
Your long-term health is important. By following the advice of your physician and leading a healthy, active lifestyle, you can reduce significant health risks and improve your overall wellbeing.
Posted: 7/10/2015 by
Filed under: exercise, health, tips, women's, women