Hot flashes won’t kill you, but heart disease will! Menopause marks a time for midlife women when bigger health issues start to show up like high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. There are many more diseases on the list, but these are the Big Four! So while you are figuring out how to manage your menopause symptoms, you might as well look at your bigger picture and make the changes to your lifestyle that will pay dividends for the rest of you healthy life. In theory, you already know this and you hear about it all the time. However, in practice, eating healthily and exercising regularly seems to be harder to do for so many of us, especially if we feel tired and cranky during our menopause transition. Let this be your wake up call! It is time to maximize your menopausal health.
Heart Disease and Menopause
Did you know that the number one killer of women over the age of 65 is heart disease? This includes hypertension and heart attacks. You may have noticed that you’ve been putting on some extra weight around your middle. That’s very characteristic of women as we age in menopause, but if your waistline is 35 inches or greater, you are at significant risk for heart disease. Now if only you took this seriously when you were in your 30’s and 40’s, you would have made a big impact already on heart health in your 50’s and 60’s. Of course, it is not to late to start right now. So, here are some tips.
Caring For Your Heart
The number one thing you can do for your heart is to quit smoking. Find a smoking cessation program in your community by going online, asking your health professional or checking in with your local hospital. Your insurance company may even have a list of locations. Although you may have tried and failed to quit smoking in the past, you must try, try again! You also need to maintain a normal blood pressure and weight. That starts with daily exercise which can be as little as 30 minutes of walking. Does that sound too hard to do for heart health? Well then start at 15 minutes a day. And cut out soda and unhealthy snacks. That is easy to do! If you are over the age of 65, you might consider taking a baby aspirin every day to help reduce your risk of stroke.
So guess what? It’s time to get started. I mean it. Right now. Go for a walk. I am going to, as well. Do you want to know my secret to having fun during my exercise time? I listen to my favorite disco tunes from the 1970’s! Boogie on, Sisters!