Important Things Women With Heart Disease Can Do

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women, but it doesn't have to be that way. The heart is a muscle, and like the other muscles in your body, you can take steps to make it stronger. You don't need a gym membership or anything expensive. It's simply a matter of making better choices.

Exercise and Sunshine

Walking, cleaning the house, and working in the garden are all forms of healthy exercise. When you first start walking, pick a comfortable pace to get your legs limber, especially if you're basically sedentary. Increase your speed to a brisk walk when you feel able to do so.

Remember the original non-motorized push lawn mowers from the 1950s? They are still on the market. You'll get a good workout without leaving home by cutting the grass with a push mower. Abundant sunshine is another plus factor in yard and garden activities. Many women do not have sufficient levels of Vitamin D, yet it is necessary for a healthy heart.

Food Choices

The old adage to shop the perimeter of the store still rings true. The perimeter has meat, seafood, dairy, and produce. Follow the latest food pyramid when putting selections in your shopping cart. The federal government has an informative website, Choose My Plate, with the latest research and recommendations.

Include some form of fruits and veggies at every meal. For example, add fresh blueberries to pancake batter or serve homemade stewed apples or stewed tomatoes with dinner. These choices and many other foods are quick and easy to prepare, yet they pack nutrition. Proper food choices allow your body to lose unwanted weight without dieting or deprivation.


Medications for heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol help your metabolism to return to a more normal state. It's important that you take them as prescribed while working toward getting your body in shape.

A wonderful benefit of diet and exercise is the possibility of not needing some of these medications in the future. For example, women with Type 2 diabetes who are not on insulin can frequently control their glucose and cholesterol levels naturally once they attain a normal weight and activity level.

Relaxation Techniques

Women can develop heart disease from living a stressful life. If you cannot resolve the issue, such as caring for an incapacitated family member, then employ relaxation techniques that have been proven to work. Effective relaxation methods take only 5 minutes to feel better. According to the Mayo Clinic, they reduce your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and reduce the level of stress hormones among other benefits. They include visual imagery, relaxing muscles starting at the neck and moving down your body, and listening to music.

If you are seriously concerned about the condition of your heart and feel you need additional help, contact a professional clinic, like Alpert Zales & Castro Pediatric Cardiology, to discuss your concerns.