Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are the leading cause of death among Filipinos, according to the Department of Health (DOH). Fortunately, there are simple but effective steps that you, regardless of age, can take to lower your risk for cardiovascular diseases.
20s to 30s
- See your doctor regularly even if you are apparently healthy; these are called well visits.
- Get periodic tests and screenings, including for blood pressure and cholesterol.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.
- Eat a healthy diet and manage your weight.
- Cope with stress by playing your favorite sports or taking up a hobby, meditating, journaling, deep breathing or spending time in nature.
40s to 50s
- Allot time for cardiovascular and strength training workouts. Regular exercise will help lower your blood pressure, maintain optimal weight, and reduce stress.
- The risk of heart disease increases with menopause. As such, women should talk with their doctor about hormonal changes and their effect on heart health.
- See your doctor regularly even if you feel fine. Well visits can help you maintain your health and identify health issues early through screening examinations and lab tests.
- Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke. Women tend to have much more subtle heart attack symptoms than men, such as severe fatigue or nausea, and may not experience severe crushing chest pain and shortness of breath.
60s and older
- Ask your doctor about an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test, which measures the pulses in your feet to help diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD is a form of cardiovascular disease in which plaque builds up in the leg arteries.
- Your metabolism slows down with age; moreover, you may become less active in your senior years. Therefore, you need to adjust your diet accordingly to maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay active; no one is “too old” to exercise. Good forms of exercise for seniors include walking and swimming.
Consult your doctor about ways to lower your risk for cardiovascular diseases. Shop at Watsons for your essential healthcare needs.
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References: https://doh.gov.ph/Statistics/Leading-Causes-of-Mortality. Accessed 17 February 2021 https://www.scripps.org/news_items/6288-caring-for-your-heart-at-every-age. Accessed 16 February 2021