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The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women


Getting serious about heart health may seem like a huge project. Because it means making changes in daily living habits, for many women it is a major effort. But it doesn't have to be an overwhelming one. Some people find it easier to tackle only one habit at a time. For example, if you smoke cigarettes and also eat a diet high in saturated fats, work on quitting smoking first. Then, once you've become used to life without cigarettes, begin to skim the fat from your diet.

And remember, nobody's perfect. Nobody always eats the ideal diet or gets just the right amount of physical activity. Few smokers are able to swear off cigarettes without a slip or two along the way. The important thing is to follow a sensible, realistic plan that will gradually lessen your chances of developing heart disease or help you to control it.

Women are taking a more active role in their own health care. We are asking more questions, and we are readier than ever to make changes that will help us lead healthier lives. We are concerned not only about treatment, but also about the prevention of many disorders that commonly strike women. Taking steps to prevent and control heart disease is part of this growing movement to take charge of our own health. The reward of a healthy heart—a better chance for a longer, more vigorous life—is well worth the effort.

Table of Contents Next: How to Estimate Your Risk

Last Updated: February 29, 2012

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