How to Maintain a Healthy Heart for Women Under 40

Most younger women, in their 20's and 30's, rarely give a thought to matters such as heart attacks, often they view heart disease as an "old people's problem". But the idea that our hearts are healthy until they actually stop beating is wrong. Heart attacks in women under 40 are not common because they are still protected by hormones, but, that doesn't mean they don't happen.

How can a young woman with a full, active life recognize the warning signs of heart attack? Warning symptoms include unusual short-ness of breath after an activity, back pain and headaches and rapid and irregular heart beat. Though, heart disease might be the last thing in your mind, there are some major risk factors that you must keep in mind. The following are five tips that can reduce the younger woman's risk of heart disease during the active part of her life.

Weight reduction: Being overweight over-works the heart and strain it because of that, it raises cholesterol levels and blood pressure in a person. It's advisable to cut back on saturated fats, refined sugars and foods high in cholesterol. Instead, eat fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes and white meats such as fish and chicken. This applies to adolescents as well, as more of them are obese which leads to diabetes mellitus, a high risk factor in heart diseases.

Control Diabetes Mellitus: Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, which the body needs to change blood sugar-glucose into energy. As a result, the cells that should take in the glucose cannot, therefore, raising your body's glucose level. High blood sugar levels increase cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and obesity, all high risk factors for heart disease. People with diabetes must work together with their doctors to keep the disease under control.

Get Active: Everyone today, is in some mode of transport or others preferring not to walk. For example, you take the lift, drive for a distance of less than 100m. It is not enough to eat healthy, walk, run, do some gardening; any activities that will get your heart muscles pumping and strong. Many of the diseases today are as a result of inactive lifestyle and staying active lowers your exposure to risk factors such as heart attacks and obesity.

Screening: Have your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar tests at least twice in a year. For example, high blood pressure is considered a silent killer because it can develop with no external symptoms.

Quit Smoking: Heart muscle disease, is the most common heart disorder in women who take cigarette and those who take a lot of alcohol. Research suggests that a smoker's chance of developing heart disease is 2-4 times that of a non-smoker.

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