Women and Heart Health

It’s February (how?!) which in Ireland is traditionally the start of Spring – there’s a bright blue sky out there today, and the snowdrops are a galanthophile’s delight this year. Lambs have been spotted in the fields and of course the next major holiday is St Valentine’s Day (did you know that St Valentine’s remains are buried in Dublin?!) so of course all the talk (and shop merchandising) is about hearts and chocolates (another subject close to my heart!). But:

Did you know: Heart Disease is the No.1 killer of women?

  • Most women do not know that heart disease is their own greatest health risk, especially after menopause/hysterectomy?
  • Heart disease is largely preventable: lifestyle habits such as movement, nutrition, stress management and sleep are hugely influential?
  • Women can take action to protect their hearts
  • Heart disease is a “now” problem – it is never too early to think about a heart healthy lifestyle, particularly as a woman at midlife

The risk for heart disease rises sharply in the perimenopausal years – most women start perimenopause around the age of 40, and fluctuating and declining levels of oestrogen levels mean we lose its cardioprotective benefit – this along with the effect of changing hormone levels on pelvic health, may mean women are less likely to participate in exercise (I’m afraid I’ll leak at the gym…’)

Many women also develop one or more risk factors for heart disease during these years –

  • Sleep apnoea
  • Stress or depression
  • Too much alcohol
  • Birth control pills (particularly for women who are over age 35 and smoke)
  • Anemia
  • An unhealthy diet

According to the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute, we have to pay close attention to The Multiplier Effect

  • 1 risk factor doubles your risk
  • 2 risk factors quadruple your risk
  • 3 or more risk factors can increase your risk more than tenfold
  • By doing just 4 things – eating right, being physically active, not smoking, and keeping a healthy weight – you can lower your risk of heart disease by as much as 82%

So for many women, addressing their pelvic health concerns though a tailored exercise strategy – eliminating that fear of leaking with exercise, trying to manage, avoid (or even improve!) their pelvic organ prolapse, dealing with their low back pain – can actually be a gateway to improving not only their heart health but also their midlife bone health, brain health and overall hormonal balance! (You know, I always say, the pelvic floor really IS the answer to everything…)

 

If you’d like to learn more about optimising all aspects of women’s health at Menopause (and beyond!), I’ll be teaching my two day live Menopause course in California on February 10/11 (details here!)  I’ll also be teaching it in Charlotte in October (details here!)

And of course, if you prefer your continuing education in the comfort of your own home, you can sign up for our online global certification:

This is the comprehensive 12 week online programme I’ve co-created with Jenny Burrell and Jessica Drummond and covers all aspects of menopausal health from nutrition to mindset, exercise prescription to pelvic health, brain fog to breast cancer recovery…and more!!! You can find more information about 3rdAge right here

Until next time – show your heart some love!!

Onwards and Upwards

Mx

 

 

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