The Top Women\’s Health Concerns and How to Prevent Them
In 2004, the U.S. Center for Disease Control published the top ten leading causes of death in females. The good news is that many are preventable with a healthy, active lifestyle. What are the major risks for women, and how can you prevent them? You are taking an important first step in enjoying a long, healthy life by taking a look at the answers to these questions. Here are the three biggest health risks and some solutions to prevent them.
First, heart disease is responsible for 27.2% of deaths in females. According to the Women\’s Heart Foundation, 8.6 million women worldwide die from heart disease every year and eight million women in the U.S. are living with heart disease right now. Almost two-thirds of heart attack deaths occur in women without history of chest pain. Although heart disease obviously poses a serious risk, it is very preventable. With a healthy diet rich in heart-healthy foods such as Omega-3 fatty acids and with regular exercise—a minimum of an hour a week of cardiovascular exercise such as walking or swimming—and by quitting smoking, you can cut down your chances of heart disease to almost nothing in no time.
Next, cancer is responsible for 22.0% of deaths in women. The American Cancer Society estimated that 269,800 women will die of cancer this year alone. The leading causes of cancer deaths in women are lung (26%), breast (15%), and colorectal cancer (9%). Much research confirms the powerful impact a diet rich in various nutrients, such as antioxidants and Vitamin D3, can prevent cancers of all types. Also, not smoking cuts down your risk significantly.
Finally, stroke is responsible for 7.5% of deaths in females. Often associated with men, stroke actually kills more women than men each year. Worldwide, three million women die from stroke every year. In the U.S. in 2005, 87,000 women died of stroke as compared to 56,600 men. For women, age is a major factor—once you reach the age of 45, your risk goes up steadily. Again, as with the risks above, studies continue to show how diet and exercise can decrease or even nullify this health concern.
Devastating health conditions seem to be diagnosed suddenly, but in actual fact, women determine their later-life health early on with the habits they adopt for themselves in terms of diet, exercise, and exposure to bad stress. If you\’re doing everything possible to ensure a healthy future, do continue. For those of you whose lifestyles need improvement, the time to make that change is now. How can you get started?
First, surround yourself with health-conscious media and people. Subscribe to blogs on women\’s health and diet, get a magazine subscription to your favorite health and fitness magazines, and hang out with your active friends more often. You will find that the more you learn and the more you surround yourself with positive examples of healthy women, the easier it will be for you to adopt a healthy lifestyle of your own.
The changes you make should be gradual. Get started with one walk a week if you have to, slowly but consistently increasing your speed and frequency. Try a new healthy recipe once a week or substitute questionable foods in your diet for healthier alternatives. For example, substitute whole grain brown rice for white rice, and turkey burgers for beef patties. Eventually you\’ll find that your diet will be significantly changed for the better.
You\’ll find ways to defy the aging process which will surprise and delight you. For example, did you know that volunteering greatly increases your longevity? Also, connecting with supportive friends and loved ones can boost your immune system.
By following these tips, you can change your lifestyle for the better, helping to revert the alarming women\’s health statistics in the U.S., and improve your quality of life in the present, as well as, in your later years.