Lifestyle Tips for Heart Healthy Women
Heart hospitals across the country are working to raise awareness about the impact of lifestyle choices on women’s heart health. Events like the health expo at Riverside Community Hospital are excellent opportunities to get health screenings and essential information about heart health. If you do currently have a cardiac condition, consider speaking with a physician at our heart hospital in Riverside.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Heavy alcohol use can increase the risk of cardiomyopathy, which refers to diseases that affect the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy may involve the thickening, enlarging, or increased rigidity of the heart muscle. Consuming alcohol regularly can also increase blood pressure and binge drinking can cause heart arrhythmias. Heart health experts recommend that women either avoid alcohol entirely or limit their consumption to no more than one drink per day. However, your doctor may urge you to avoid alcohol completely if you already have cardiomyopathy, heart failure, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, high triglycerides, or other medical conditions.
Get Enough Sleep
When women think about making heart-healthy lifestyle choices, dietary choices and exercise often come to mind. The importance of sleep might not be as well-known, but it certainly plays a role in heart health. Poor sleep quality and quantity can increase the risk of hypertension and weight gain. Additionally, feeling exhausted can lead to poor lifestyle choices such as skipping workouts and indulging in junk food. For better heart health, make getting enough sleep a priority.
Manage Stress Responses
Stress management is another healthy lifestyle choice that often plays second fiddle to diet and exercise. Stress can influence heart health because a typical stress response for many people might involve eating comfort food, having trouble sleeping, drinking alcohol, or smoking cigarettes. Additionally, women are more likely than men to experience broken heart syndrome or stress-induced cardiomyopathy. This is characterized by sudden chest pain and sometimes short-term heart muscle failure. Stress-induced cardiomyopathy can be caused by significant life events, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce. Because of the health risks of chronic stress and acute stress episodes, good stress management should be a priority for every woman.
The HeartCare Institute at Riverside Community Hospital is an accredited Chest Pain Center that provides technologically advanced, life-saving interventions such as open heart surgery, stent grafting, and the MAZE procedure. At our HeartCare Institute in Riverside, patients receive a continuum of care—from diagnostics to cardiac rehabilitation. Please call 911 if you think you are experiencing a heart attack; otherwise, call (951) 788-3463 to request a referral to a specialist at the HeartCare Institute.