We’ve made a lot of progress as a society when it comes to women’s health and fitness. But a lot of our big exercise, diet, and lifestyle trends still seem to center around looks, quick fixes, or healing mysterious health ailments that may or may not be a real threat to us. Eating better and exercising more is always a good thing—but why aren’t we talking more about the real threat? Heart disease is still our #1 killer—and heart disease prevention should be at the core of any wellness program.
So what does heart disease prevention really look like, and why does it matter? What if you’re young and healthy—do you still need to be thinking about it? Let’s take a look at what makes this topic so important and what you can do about your heart health!
What Is Heart Disease Prevention?
On its surface, heart disease prevention has three key facets:
- Listen to your doctor’s recommendations
- Be physically active
- Follow a heart-healthy diet
Of course, for a lot of us, that’s easier said than done. Many doctors don’t run the types of tests that can detect issues like low ejection fractions, high calcium scores, or other heart abnormalities in women. So, how could they recommend the right course of action if their tests all say you’re “normal”?
True heart disease prevention comes from fully understanding your unique body and your risk factors, even the ones that some doctors refer to as “non-traditional.” Women experience heart disease differently from men—but there’s nothing abnormal or unusual about these symptoms. Getting the proper screenings and having a trusted cardiologist to support you are crucial!
Why Does Prevention Matter?
Heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States every year. We lose over 300,000 women to heart disease every single year, which is all the more tragic because up to 80% of these deaths were preventable with diet, exercise, and lifestyle improvements. Early testing and intervention absolutely saves lives, and at NitzaMD, that’s what we’re all about.
Even for those who have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease or who have survived a heart attack, the secondary prevention stage begins. Survival is a second chance to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent future disease and prolong the extra time you’ve been given with your family and friends.
Who Needs Preventions for Heart Disease?
Every single woman should take steps to lower her risk for heart disease by eating a healthier diet, getting enough exercise, and quitting smoking (if you need another reason to quit, here it is!). There are a few other considerations that elevate your risk factors:
- Age (menopause increases your risk)
- High blood pressure & cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
- High levels of stress
Take our quiz to see if you’re at an elevated risk for heart disease.
Why Should Women Participate in a Heart Disease Prevention Program?
Leading a healthy lifestyle can feel overwhelming. Whether you’re a busy mom who pours everything into taking care of the kids or you’re over 55 and not sure how to make big changes at this stage in life, having a support system can make a huge difference in your success.
A heart disease prevention program takes into account your risk factors and comprehensive test results, which means you get a health plan tailored to you. It also helps provide individual guidance for your goals, check-ins, encouragement, and actionable advice. Even if you’re already active and eating well, understanding your heart’s condition can help you make changes that will improve your athletic performance, stay fit, and ward off any underlying concerns.
How Can NitzaMD Help?
We know that women’s hearts aren’t the same as men’s—and no two women will have exactly the same journey to heart health. Lots of factors, like your medical history, family history, lifestyle, and genetics play a role. While there are plenty of general guidelines each of us can follow, knowing your unique risk factors and diagnostics allows us to create a personalized plan to improve the quality of your life and protect you against heart disease for years to come.
We’ve custom created a series of programs with tangible tools designed specifically to help different overlooked groups of women take control of their cardiac health. We have programs for:
These programs were created with real women in mind, as a way to make heart-healthy living achievable. After all, deep down, most of us know we should be taking better care of ourselves, but actually doing it is a different story. Having a trusted partner on your side takes out all the guesswork. You can walk out of every session feeling confident that you’re taking active steps to improve your life, with real goals, guidance, and knowledge to empower you!
How Can I Sign Up?
Our in-person programs are available to women in Central Florida, from our base in The Villages. You can call us at (352) 717-0220 to request an appointment, or get in touch online to learn more! If you can’t make it to The Villages, sign up for our newsletter, where we share tips, news, and information, including virtual events!
NitzaMD: Women’s Heart Disease Prevention in Central Florida and Beyond
NitzaMD offers comprehensive cardiac screening and heart-health programs to women in Central Florida and beyond. Learn more about how you can #preventthestent in Dr. Alvarez’s revolutionary women’s health book, Heels vs. Ties: Living with Your #1 Threat. Don’t let yourself become a statistic. Take ownership of your health with help from NitzaMD!