How to keep post-menopausal heart changes from becoming heart disease

It’s a huge relief once menopause is over. No more hot flashes. No more mood swings. No more sleepless nights.

Your body is yours… maybe for the first time in your life. After all, before menopause, you had puberty, periods and pregnancy hijacking your body and hormones.

So those years after menopause are a time for you to enjoy your body without the constant interference of your hormonal cycles… which is something for all women to look forward to.

But there is one post-menopause bodily change that’s a bit harder to feel optimistic about…

A higher heart disease risk.

Now, everyone’s heart disease risk goes up as they get older. But the risk for women tends to skyrocket in those 10 years after menopause. Why?

Well, researchers suspect there are a lot of factors at play. Menopause happens around midlife. And it’s around that time that any unhealthy lifestyle habits (like not exercising, eating poorly or smoking) tend to catch up with us. But the loss of estrogen may also have something to do with it too…

Scientists believe that estrogen helps blood vessels stay flexible, which gives your heart much better blood flow and keeps it healthy.

So what can you do to protect your heart so you can truly enjoy your post-menopausal years?

The answer is simple…walk.

A new study shows that the mere act of walking can keep your heart in good shape and protect you from that post-menopausal bogeyman — heart disease.

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Walking your way to late-life heart health

It’s no secret that exercise is good for your heart health. What people often get confused about, however, is whether something as simple as walking is enough. Let me clarify this for you right now… it absolutely is!

In fact, a recent study from Brown University shows that walking regularly can even improve the heart health of people who have a high risk for heart disease — like post-menopausal women.

In the study, researchers analyzed data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a 14-year study that included women between 50 and 79 years old at the start.

They specifically looked at women’s walking habits, including how frequently they walked, how long they walked and how fast they walked. And here’s what they found:

  • Women who walked at least twice per week reduced their heart failure risk by 20-25 percent compared to women who walked less frequently.
  • Women who walked for 40 minutes or more at a time reduced their heart failure risk by 21-25 percent compared to women who walked for shorter periods.
  • Women who walked at an average or fast pace reduced their heart failure risk by 26 to 38 percent.

This is great news for post-menopausal women! There’s a simple and free way to counteract those negative heart changes that happen later in life.

Even better, researchers found that the heart benefits of walking held true for women of all shapes and sizes. Women who were overweight or obese reduced their heart disease risk just as much by walking. It worked for women of all ethnicities too. So walking is an equal opportunity way for women over 50 to maintain a healthy heart.

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Commit to a healthier heart today

Can you commit to a few 40-minute powerwalks per week?

I bet you can. Especially with a great incentive like better heart health.

But if you need a little more inspiration before you hit the pavement, there are plenty of other ways walking helps post-menopausal women stay healthy. It lowers your risk of other problems that pop up later in life, like:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Depression
  • Premature death

Is it safe to say that walking is the ideal exercise for post-menopausal women everywhere? Absolutely! So lace up those walking shoes. And if you have a hard time keeping a quick pace, invite a fit friend or dog to join you. They’ll keep you moving at a steady clip.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!

Sources:

  1. Menopause and Heart Disease — American Heart Association. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  2. Regular walking may protect against heart failure post menopause — MedicalXpress. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine, TheFix.com, Hybridcars.com and Seedstock.com.

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