Women – Get Active to Prevent Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women in the United States. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), lifestyle changes and healthy choices have resulted in 330 fewer women dying from heart disease per day. As we observe World Heart Day on Sept. 29 and National Women’s Health and Fitness Day on Sept. 28, Qsource encourages you to get active and exercise at least 30 minutes each day. Inspire the women in your life to get active as well.

Exercise is the Best Prevention
The benefits of regular exercise are seemingly endless. Some of the best benefits are:

  • Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
  • Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent in moderately active people
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps maintain or lose weight
  • Raises HDL or “good” cholesterol levels
  • Prevents and manages high blood pressure
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Delays chronic illness and disease associated with aging

Get Active
Getting started with a regular exercise routine can be difficult.

  • Begin with small steps like taking the stairs, walking during your coffee break, doing housework or working in your yard.
  • Take it slowly. Ten-minute periods of light exercise or a brisk walk every day is a great way to start.
  • Gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts as you progress.

The AHA recommends that you discuss any exercise program with your doctor.

Stay With It
All forms of exercise can help lower your risk of heart disease. Aerobic exercises like walking, jogging or jumping rope can lower your risk for heart disease even more. The AHA recommends exercising at least 30 minutes every day to strengthen your heart and improve your health.

Tips:

  • Choose exercise activities that you enjoy.
  • Don’t try anything too difficult in the beginning of your program.
  • Ask a friend to workout with you to stay on track.
  • Adding variety to your routine will help you stay interested and motivated.
  • Listening to music or watching a TV show can make exercise more enjoyable.
  • To help you stay with your program, try something new like cycling or dancing.

Qsource is a part of the Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Learn more here.

Kim Headspeth

Kim Headspeth

Kim Headspeth, a native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, is a Quality Improvement Advisor with Qsource in Kentucky, working to improve cardiac health and reduced health disparities. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Information Management from Eastern Kentucky University and her Master’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus on Health Administration, from Troy University.

Headspeth began her career as a Regional Long-Term Care Ombudsman in Alabama, and was a certified Case Manager and a Nutritional Coordinator. After, Headspeth was a Patient Safety Manager at Maxwell Air Force Base, during which she obtained her TeamSTEPPS coordinator training and certification, AFSO 21 (Lean Six Sigma) training and Live Well Alabama (Chronic Disease Self-Management Program) training.