If you are a Black woman over 50, you need to show your heart some love by MoRadiance Woman

Health Lifestyle Medicine wellness


The American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular disease claims the lives of 1 in 3 women. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, and an overall increase in heart attacks among women is generally seen after 50. Black women are also at a particularly higher risk of heart disease than their white counterparts. But you don’t have to be a victim of this deadly disease. Below are 5 simple ways to show some love to your heart and save your life. 


1) Get a primary care doctor and get screened.

The first step in taking control of your health is understanding your risks. One of the best ways of doing this is to work with your primary care doctor.  He or she will help you access specific tests and screenings such as blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight, body mass index, blood sugar, hemoglobin AIC (a method of evaluating your blood sugar control over a period of time), an EKG, and other tests as appropriate.  Your primary care doctor can also help you take an assessment of your lifestyle to identify and correct unhealthy behaviors that may put you at risk for heart disease.  These behaviors include poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, lack of exercise, stress, and harmful habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, or drug use. Once these habits are identified, plans can be put in place to address the specific issues early. Unless you have chronic diseases, these visits are typically once per year or at the interval recommended by your doctor. Consider scheduling your next visit while you are still in the doctor’s office to increase your chance of remembering.


2) Eat a heart-healthy diet

Healthy nutrition is one of the tenets of a healthy lifestyle, and is integral in the prevention and control of heart disease. Studies show that the more your diet is focused around plants, the greater your chance of avoiding diseases.  A whole food plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetable, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats, and devoid of process foods, is consistently associated with great health. This way of eating is not only a heart healthy approach, but also important for the health and proper functioning of your brain.  Having a diet that is rich in plants has also been shown to be effective in preventing and even reversing many chronic diseases. To learn more about this way of eating, check out the book Lifestyle Medicine Rx: 101 Ways to Transform Your Health and Life. Check out the book here


3) Get Regular Exercise

What exercise is the best exercise for the health of your heart?  The answer is, the exercise that you will actually do. 

Keeping yourself active and committing to aerobic exercise most days of the week along with resistance training and flexibility exercises, help with the fitness of your body and the health of your heart.  Physical activity also improves your endurance, and has a positive effect on your brain, mood, and sleep health.  The trick to being consistent with exercise is to find something you actually enjoy, start slow, and get an exercise buddy or a community to help with accountability.  A very important tip to remember is, although exercise is important for great health, it is important to get clearance from your doctor prior to starting a program.  This is especially important if you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle. 


4) Stress Reduction

Some women entering into menopause complain of mood changes, and the American Heart Association found a strong correlation with stress and depression in some women during menopause.  Women of color are also at particularly higher risk of stress and depression. Stress can result in a rise in your blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol level, and may result in poor glucose control. Poor control of stress can also contribute to poor sleep, obesity, and may have a negative impact on your relationships. All of these can contribute to poor health in general, and particularly increase your risk of heart disease. 

Be an advocate for yourself by being aware of your risks of stress.  If you notice persistent stress or mood changes, immediately seek help.  In addition, remember that you can put yourself in the driver’s seat by learning and practicing basic stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, journaling, meditation, yoga, and warm baths.  For more techniques on successfully managing your stress, click here.


5) Find your passion and purpose

The term Ikigai is a Japanese term that represents your reason for being.  It is the reason you get out of bed each day.  

When many centenarians in the blue zones (the places on earth where people live the healthiest and longest lives) shared their secrets to longevity, invariably, purpose and passion were mentioned.  When a person has found their purpose and passion, they are generally happier, have more fulfilled relationships, and have a greater tendency of taking care of themselves. 

 Your heart’s health is very important, and this is particularly the case if you are a Black woman over 50. Don’t take your heart for granted. Remember, prevention of heart disease is not only the key, it is one of your most effective strategies for a long and healthy life.  Understand your risks and take the necessary steps to prevent them. 


Please comment below on ways you keep your heart healthy. Remember to share this blog with another woman, who like you, want to win in health, work, and life. For more information go to www.moradiance.com

#hearthealth #menopause #lifestylemedicine #moradiancewomen #stress #meditation #passion #purpose #nutrition #wholefoodpantbased #vegetarian #vegan #bluezones #centenarians

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  • Velta on

    I have already started to maintain a healthy weight and tried to eat right. I am sleeping well and feeling better my only issue is poor circulation which I am working to keep under control by exercising and avoiding fatty foods which will clog the arteries.

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