Researchers found that adopting these six healthy lifestyle habits could avert about 73% of coronary heart disease (CHD) cases among women over 20 years. These habits can also avert 46% of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. The study followed 69,000 participants over 20 years to conclude their findings. Researchers followed women in their 20s until they were in their 40s to discover six habits that helped reduce the risk of CHD.
Six Habits to Start Now
The following are the habits published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Healthy Lifestyle in the Primordial Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Among Young Women. These six lifestyle changes have clear health benefits for women.
1. No smoking
Tobacco use can cause other health problems, in addition to damaging your heart. Smokers should consider the various ways they can quit. Many local resources can help.
2. Lower body mass index (BMI)
Participants that maintained a lower BMI had a lower risk of developing CHD, the study found. It’s essential to determine what BMI is appropriate for your age and body, so speak with a health professional about how to maintain this level.
3. At least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week
Johns Hopkins highlights three exercises that promote heart health: aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching, flexibility, and balance. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, helps your cardiac output, and improves circulation. Strength training (or resistance training) helps reduce fat and improve lean muscle mass. Lastly, flexibility exercises improve musculoskeletal health, which, in turn, helps with joint pain, cramping, and more.
4. Watch less than seven hours of television per week
Numerous studies have shown that screen time can harm sleep. Turning off the screen can help improve overall health as well.
5. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is an essential step to proper heart health. Thankfully there are many heart-healthy foods to incorporate into your diet.
6. Limit alcohol consumption
The research recommends up to one alcoholic drink per day to maximize benefits to the heart.
These six changes are a way to live healthier and reap the benefits of this lifestyle. The beginning can be a challenge, so try to choose a few of these items to begin with and integrate them into your daily life. Exercise can sometimes be the biggest challenge, so read our blog on tips to starting a workout plan.