CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE IMPROVES WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH

Heart disease kills millions of Americans each year. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women. The most common heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease (CAD), which leads to heart attacks. One way to reduce your risk of CAD is to make some lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, stress management and physical activity.   Physical activity is an essential part of being heart healthy. The American Heart Association (AHA) says you need at least 150 minutes of moderate....

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LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS IN BREAST CANCER TREATMENT

There are an estimated 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, a testament to the more than 25-year decline in mortality, according to the American Cancer Society. Still, 231,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and about 40,000 will die. Fortunately, there have been some exciting breakthroughs in breast cancer detection and treatment recently.

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PERSONAL TRAINING

If you’re looking for a safe, effective program that will help you get toned, become more flexible or lose weight, personal training could be for you.  A personal trainer will teach you proper form and technique to keep you safe and injury free. But first, he or she needs to know what your goals are – whether you want to lose weight, get healthy and tone up or train for bodybuilding, fitness competitions or powerlifting. Perhaps you’re an older person who wants to work on balance and stability.

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Whatever you do, start small, set goals and reward yourself when you reach them.


Sources and Resources

Medline Plus: Weight Loss with heart disease The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women

Like many Americans, do you believe heart disease affects mostly men? In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.


Heart disease, according to The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, written by members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is one of several cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessel system. Others include stroke, high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease. Coronary heart disease occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle become hardened and narrow due to a build-up of plaque on the arteries’ inner walls. Plaque is the accumulation of fat, cholesterol and other dead cells. As this sticky substance adheres on the walls of the arteries, blood flow to the heart muscle is reduced. If this blood supply is cut off to a portion of the coronary heart muscle, the result is a lack of fresh oxygenated blood to that part of the heart muscle, resulting in a heart attack.


There are some well-known risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking and high cholesterol. According to the handbook, some women have a group of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which is usually caused by overweight or obesity and not getting enough physical activity. A healthy weight is necessary for a long active life. In the United States, about 62 percent of American women age 20 years and older are

HEART DISEASE AND THE NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

overweight — and of that number, about 33 percent are obese. The more overweight a woman is, the higher her risk for developing heart disease. Losing weight reduces that risk.


But losing weight effectively and keeping it off requires lifestyle changes, such as changes in eating and physical activity. The institute recommends no more than one-half to 2 pounds of weight loss per week, as well as taking a long-term approach to the subject.


For those considering losing weight, the institute recommends a combination of diet and regular exercise such as walking, swimming or biking. Cutting down on calories, especially from fat, is paramount. These two behaviors are a challenge for many but are not impossible to undertake.


Other tips from The Heart Health Handbook include: