A Woman’s Guide to Preventing Heart Diseases

Let’s say you detected a suspicious lump on your breast. You’d probably call your gynae and have it examined pronto. But we bet that you aren’t paying extra attention to another potential problem on your chest: your heart’s health. Females are said to be five times more likely to die from heart disease as they are from breast cancer. And while both conditions are rare in younger women, your lifestyle habits during your 20s and 30s still have a profound effect on the factors that affect your odds of developing cardiovascular diseases. So what can you do to reduce your heart disease risk? Read on.

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Tips to Reduce Heart Disease Risk

1. Understand Your Risk Factors
One of the first things that you should do to lessen your chances of developing a heart disease is to know your risk factors. Simply put, knowing what the normal blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose level is, and finding out what yours are. As you visit your specialist, ask him or her to have these levels checked. Depending on your risk level, you might need to undergo certain heart screening tests, or have your cholesterol, blood glucose, and blood pressure levels checked every year or every few years.

2. Establish Goals for Your Heart Health Indicators
What are your ideal cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels? These numbers may differ depending on your risk level. If you happen to have a strong family history of premature heart disease, for instance, then you may have a different heart health goal than other women. At a reputable heart clinic for Harley Street cardiology services in Singapore, they help you to understand and establish your goals in addition to the questions you’ll ask your heart specialist in Singapore.

3. Steer Clear From Smoky Places
Even if you don’t smoke, the cigarette smoke that you inhale from your surroundings still puts you at risk for heart attacks by causing your arteries to narrow over time. Inhaling second-hand smoke also triggers more immediate damage, since a few minutes of exposure to it has the same effect on your blood vessels and blood as if you’re actively smoking. So as much as possible, make sure that you don’t spend much time on places that are rich in cigarette smoke.

4. Eat the Right Fat
When it comes to eating fat, you’d certainly want to eat the ones called mono-saturated fats as it lowers the levels of bad cholesterol that brings on heart attack. Avoid consuming foods that are rich in trans- and saturated fats as much as possible, since this fats are believed to raise bad cholesterol and clog the arteries. Heart specialist in Singapore suggests including foods that are loaded with mono-saturated fats like avocados, anchovies, nuts, peanut butter, sardines and salmon into your diet to naturally reduce your bad cholesterol levels.

5. Perform Short, Intense Workout Routines

Although heart-pumping activities help in reducing one’s heart disease risk by maintaining your weight, and lowering bad cholesterol and blood pressure levels, Singapore health experts suggest performing short intense workout routines like four 4-minute intense treadmill sessions instead. Specialists believe that performing such workout routine is more effective than doing a straight 45-minute moderate jogging. So try taking 4-minute breaks during each day, and perform exercise routines like running in place or jumping jacks.

6. Unplug From Your Daily Stresses
Always being on the edge pummels your body with stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. High levels of these hormones tend to increase your blood pressure rate, which leads to the hardening of arteries over time. So if possible, try unplugging yourself from the world for an hour or two, and give your mind and body the time it needs to decompress. Just soaking in a hot tub or going out for a walk is already enough to reduce the amount of stress hormones circulating in your body.

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7. Be Positive
Studies conducted by Singapore health experts showed that highly optimistic people tend to have lower death rates from cardiovascular diseases. This is because optimists usually engage in healthier behaviours like eating right, exercising, and not smoking. Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to look for bad behaviour in people, which stirs up the stress hormones that are harmful for the heart.

8. Learn to Socialize
The more relationships you foster and the greater the number of social activities you’re involved in, the lower your chances of developing a heart disease. Friends provide great emotional support during tough times, and research shows that this support helps in reducing the adrenaline levels.

Signs of a Heart Attack

It’s rare for young, healthy women to experience a cardio emergency, but some less serious conditions actually mimic the signs of heart attack.

• Heart Often Skips a Beat
This benign sensation is often caused by stress or drinking too much caffeine. If possible, try relaxing and drinking just one cup of coffee every day. If you still continue to experience the skipping, see your physician immediately.
• Frequent Palpitations
Again, stress and caffeine are often the culprits of this condition, but palpitations could also be a sign of a panic attack – especially if it’s accompanied with hyperventilation. When this occurs, try sitting down and breathing deeply to slow your heart rate down.
• Burning Sensation Under the Breastbone
This condition sounds like heartburn, an illness wherein the gastric acid from your stomach rises to your oesophagus. This burning sensation is usually brought by caffeinated beverages and spicy dishes, so cut back on consuming these triggers. If symptoms still recur, do see your physician as soon as possible.
• Feeling Faint or Dizzy
Odds are, you’re simply not eating or drinking enough. But if the symptoms still don’t improve after you blacked out or refuelled, immediately ask your doctor to check for a possible heart issue or anaemia.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, remember that living a healthy lifestyle and getting heart screening tests in Singapore are essential to protect yourself from any heart diseases.

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General Health

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