If you didn’t know, heart disease is the number one killer of women, and it affects women of all ages, which is why it’s important to know just how healthy your heart is. Here are five ways you know you’re taking good care of your heart.
You don’t smoke
If a woman takes birth control pills and smokes, she increases her risk for heart disease by 20 percent. When you smoke, it increases the likelihood of blood clots, which could lead to heart attacks.
Your blood pressure is similar in both arms
High blood pressure (greater than 140/90) can be dangerous for your heart health. However, a study also found that if the blood pressure of your right and left arm are different by 10 points, you’re at a greater risk for heart disease. Not sure where you stand? You don’t have to visit a doctor to check your blood pressure. Most drugstores and grocery stores have automatic blood pressure cuffs so you can check while you shop.
You’re managing your stress
High levels of stress and depression can put you at a higher risk for health concerns including takotsubo cardiomyopathy (aka broken heart syndrome), which is essentially heart muscle failure. If you’re keeping your stress at bay, for the most part, it’ll help keep your heart health in check.
You’re at a healthy BMI and waist circumference
A BMI of 25 or higher is associated with a higher risk for heart disease (click here to calculate your BMI). Additionally, a waist circumference (the measurement around your waist at the belly button) greater than 35 inches is associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
You make regular doctor visits
If you have a family history of heart disease, it’s easy to miss the signs and symptoms of heart disease, so it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor — better safe than sorry!
xx, The FabFitFun Team