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6 Quick Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Jan 26, 2018

Women suffer from cardiovascular disease and heart attacks too.

According to the British Heart Foundation, a massive 3.5 million women in the UK live with coronary heart disease (exactly the same number as men).

The threat gets worse once you hit the menopause.

Throughout your reproductive years, you’ve been protected nicely from heart disease by the oestrogen in your body. Yet, as levels of this vital sex hormone decline, your skin loses its bounce, your arteries and blood vessels become less flexible and your body finds it more difficult to adapt to the blood flow.

If you’re not eating such a healthy diet, we’re overweight or obese, we smoke, drink or don’t get much exercise or you have high blood pressure, you’re even more at risk.

We can’t continue to bury our heads in the sand any longer. It’s time to start looking after your heart during the peri-menopause, the menopause and beyond so we can avoid cardiovascular disease and continue to thrive into our golden years.


1: Cut down on those cakes and biscuits

Cutting back on sugar might not seem like the easiest thing to do (especially if you have a sweet tooth), but it is one of the easiest ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health conditions.

Pain-free ways to reduce sugar in your diet include opting for fresh water or thirst-quenching teas instead of fizzy pop, watching out for hidden sugars in your food and cutting back on those ‘treats’.

Fruits and vegetables contain high levels of vitamin C, antioxidants and other healthy substances which will help protect your blood vessels and keep the cells in your body strong.

Choose well and you’ll also get plenty of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin K, fibre, and many more.

Get a minimum of five-a-day (but aim for ten if you can), and be sure to include plenty of leafy veggies. Keeping fruit at a minimum.


3. Get moving!

Regular exercise will help strengthen your blood vessels and keep your heart healthy so get off that chair and start moving!

But be warned- a gentle swim once per week isn’t enough. You need to do the kind that gets your blood pumping and is weight-bearing for best results such as this short HIIT workout (especially designed by the lovely Lucy Wyndham-Read for menopausal women)



4. Get back in that kitchen

Start cooking healthy food from scratch the way your mother used to and you’ll slash your risk of heart disease. I know this might seem like an extra hassle, especially when you’ve had a long day and want to collapse onto the sofa but your heart health will thank you for it.

Skip those high fat, high sugar, high salt, high toxin convenience foods like pre-made lasagne, meat pie, burgers and veggie burgers and instead start exercising your culinary skills.


5. Take an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement

Doctors and health experts agree on one thing when it comes to heart health- omega 3 supplements work wonders and it’s very much worth taking a daily supplement if you’re not already getting plenty in your food.

Omega 3s won’t just help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. They’ll also ease painful periods, help with your hot flushes, ease symptoms of the peri-menopause, protect your bone health and keep your brain ticking over nicely. Brilliant!

Take a supplement or get your omega 3 from your food. Great natural sources include seafood such as anchovies, herring, mackerel, oysters, wild salmon, and sardines, flaxseed, hempseed, walnuts, eggs, pumpkin seeds and marine microalgae like spirulina.


6. Relax!

Stress and worry don’t just make you feel drained, they also raise your blood pressure, make it harder to get a good night’s sleep, mess with your hormone levels, hurt your relationships and leave you at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and even suffering from a heart attack.

Feel calmer and in control by learning self hypnosis or trying mindfulness meditation. I love the Headspace app and also the Calm app so I’d highly recommend them. For a tech-free option, just close your eyes, take some deep breaths and relax.

Download Headspace for iTunes or Android

Download Calm for iTunes or Android


Put these six quick tips into action and you’ll protect yourself from cardiovascular disease during the peri-menopause, the menopause and beyond.


PS. I’ve created a free relaxation download for you. Click here to get your copy.


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