Women’s Health & awareness of heart disease
Heart disease is the No.1 cause of death of women in Australia, with 24 women succumbing to this silent killer every day.
According to the Heart Foundation, heart disease is three times more likely to cause death in Australian women than breast cancer. However, less than 40% of women are aware that it’s the leading cause of death in women’s health. The risk of heart disease increases with age but younger women are also susceptible to this risk. In order to know your personal risk of developing heart disease, whether young or old, it is important to have a heart check-up with your local Melbourne GP. Besides having regular check-ups, there are other ways to promote women’s health and prevent heart disease. Over 90% of Australian women can modify at least one heart disease risk factor and 50% have two or three modifiable risk factors.
Heart disease can be prevented if you practice healthy lifestyle habits. We recommend a healthy diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake.
According to WebMD, eating a heart-healthy diet would balance your cholesterol and blood sugar levels whilst also lowering your blood pressure and weight. High cholesterol, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and weight are all risk factors to heart disease and can worsen women’s health. A heart-healthy diet advises consumption of more plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, nuts, legumes and seeds. These foods contain fiber which is good for your cholesterol and aids in digestion.
Include fish or seafood into your diet as it provides a good source of protein and other nutrients. The Heart Association recommends at least 2-3 servings per week of fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They also recommend at least 2 servings per week of legumes (lentils and dried beans) as they are high in fibre and low in fat. Nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and their oils are a good source of healthy fats that help balance your blood cholesterol.
Reduce salt from your diet and add flavor to your dishes with herbs and spices. Most adults consume too much sodium which raises your blood pressure levels. Try to avoid consuming too much packaged foods as these tend to be high in sodium.
A combination of both a healthy diet and exercising at least 2-3 times per week will promote women’s health and reduce the risk of heart disease. Making healthy lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake would also increase women’s health. Both smoking and drinking can raise blood pressure, increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack which leads to heart disease.
For more information: Make an appointment with one of our doctors at Southgate Medical Centre or call the Heart Foundation on 1300 36 27 87
Mums exercise for Women’s Health
Struggling to find time to exercise as a busy mum? You’re not alone – it’s easy to forget healthy lifestyle habits when you have other people to care for. Unfortunately, this often results in a disregard towards women’s health, with decreased energy levels and a lack of motivation in preparing healthy meals and being physically active.
It is advised that all mums have some me-time for themselves each week. Keeping active is a great way of taking some time for yourself, especially if you’ve just given birth and are looking to get back your pre-baby body. An idea to consider is joining your local “Mums with Bubs” – an exercise program where you can work out with other mothers and bubs.
“Mums with Bubs” classes are specifically designed for your needs and your baby. Each class offers a supportive environment targeted towards improving women’s health with specialized activities and exercises where you can aim to regain lost fitness and strength during the postnatal period. Bringing your baby along and working out together also eliminates the stress of watching over your child. Have peace of mind during these classes as they encourage interaction and allow your child to join in on the fun.
“Mums with Bubs” classes are not only aimed at increasing your fitness but it is also a social event. Meet other mothers and share your experiences with them in a fun and rewarding environment. These classes are typically done with 4 mothers and their babies and can run from 40-60 minutes depending on the company you choose. Exercises range from a variety of cardio, strength, core stability and pelvic floor exercises. Classes aim to reshape and tone your body with a focus on strengthening abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
There are many classes and fitness programs available such as yoga, pilates and even personalized interval training.
Women’s health doesn’t have to be compromised when you are a busy mum. If you wish to have further discussion about your health with one of our doctors, make an appointment at Southgate Medical Centre.
Sleep Myths | Let’s put to rest some common myths about sleep
Let’s put to rest some common myths about sleep.
Myth (1) – Your brain is inactive during sleep.
In fact, your brain is very busy. Among its activities is sorting and processing information on what happens each day, then consolidating it into your long term memory. This is essential for learning and memory.
Myth (2) – Sleeping in this weekend can prevent sleep loss effects next week.
Extra sleep helps catch up on lost sleep. But you can’t bank sleep in advance. Sleep loss will always be felt when it happens. To be at your best during the week, you need to keep having a restful night’s sleep.
Myth (3) – A restful night’s sleep requires sleep without waking up.
No, normal sleep is a cycle of deep sleep, light sleep and brief awakenings, repeated several times in the night. What counts is how quickly you go back to sleep after waking up. If you think waking up during the night is abnormal, you might get anxious about it and find it hard to fall back to sleep. Try to relax if you wake up and let sleepiness take over.
Myth (4) – Children who don’t sleep enough are sleepy during the day.
Lack of sleep may not cause a child to feel tired, but can cause other problems such as poor concentration, moodiness and behaving badly. This is a concern, because you might not realise that these problems are due to not sleeping enough.
Myth (5) – You need less sleep as you get older.
Certainly children need less sleep as they grow up. But once you’re a young adult, the amount of sleep you need will stay the same for the rest of your life.
For more information, talk to our doctors or visit www.sleephealthfoundation.org,au
Sourced from: http://www.yourhealth.net.au/
This post is part of the Southgate Medical Centre healthy lifestyles initiative for the Southbank community.