Being inactive and/or overweight are two of the most common lifestyle risk factors associated with heart disease for women. Women living a sedentary lifestyle significantly increase their risk of health issues including weight gain, high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke, heart attack and other heart related problems. Taking some steps to become more active, engage in regular physical exercise and establish healthy eating habits has many benefits for your overall physical health and mental wellbeing but especially for the health of your heart.
Get Active, Reduce Your Risk
Incorporate physical activity into your everyday routine – this doesn’t mean you have to be at the gym at 5am!! But rather, by making small changes that are likely to become good habits, you will be on your way to a healthy heart lifestyle. Walking* is a form of aerobic exercise and has great benefits for your heart health. Aim for 20-30 minutes of walking or approximately eight thousand steps every day to help reduce your risk.
- Park further away from your work or get off public transport a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way.
- Opt to take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator.
- Enjoy a walk during your lunch hour.
- Go for an evening walk instead of watching TV on the couch.
*Walking may not be for you for a variety of reasons. Check with your GP for a safe and effective alternative that is just right for you.
Three in five Australian women are overweight or obese putting them at risk of developing heart disease. Combine your new daily physical activity with healthy eating habits to help further reduce your risk. Refrain from adding salt and sugar to your foods and drinks, enjoy a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, and try seasoning with herbs and spices. We recommend including the Mediterranean Diet into your weekly menu to assist with healthier living. Your heart and your tastebuds will thank you!
Always check with your GP before embarking on a weight loss journey or starting a new exercise program for guidance and information.
Heart Support Australia Peer Support Groups & Free Membership
Experiencing a heart event increases your risk of having another. Your mental health, social interactions with people, and participation in activities play a huge role in your recovery and improving your quality of life. It is important to avoid isolation and make sure you are connecting with family, friends and support groups with your peers to help reduce your risks of a secondary heart event.
Visit here to find out more about Heart Support Australia Peer Support Groups and free membership.