(I’ve been having ergonomic problems again and have not been able to post too much.)
The American Heart Association just released new guidelines for women to help prevent cardiovascular disease. The emphasis of the updated guidelines is on long term, lifetime risk reduction not just short term reduction.
The recommendations include the reduction of alcohol consumption and sodium intake, controling weight and increasing physical activity.
The physical activity levels recommended for women trying to lose weight or keep it off are to exercise at an intensity level to that of brisk walking for a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes a day – everyday! While I don’t doubt that that is a good idea I do doubt that most women would have time for that. After working 8+ hours a day, driving back and forth to work, cooking and other household work and possibly taking care of children – how many women really have time to exercise an hour or and hour and a half each day? (How many men have that much time to exercise either?)
It is also recommended that women stop smoking and eat more fruits and vegetables – that’s nothing new or surprising either. Reducing saturated fat intake to less than 7% of calories shouldn’t be terribly difficult for most women, but eating fish 2 or more times a week could be hard when you also have to balance that with not eating fish high in mercury.
A new thing included is recommending women take aspirin on a regular basis if they are over 65. Also, keeping LDL cholesterol levels to less than 70 mg/dL in women who are very high-risk is recommended.
Considering that the chance of a women dying from cardiovascular disease during her lifetime is almost 1 in 3 – it is very important that women be aware of what they can do to keep themselves healthier. I wonder how realistic these guidelines are though and how many women will really follow them?
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