Talk about overworked and underappreciated. Your heart fuels your body through blistering treadmill sprints, flutters at the sight of a shirtless Chris Hemsworth, and paces you through a crazy work dayÃ¢â‚¬”all the while supplying your brain, limbs, and organs with oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood. Yet 40 percent of women rarely give their heart a second thought, according to a poll conducted by Women's Health, the American Heart Association (AHA), and Weekend Today.
That's scary, considering one in four females will die of heart diseaseÃ¢â‚¬”an often-silent illness that can start as early as your teenage years. (Framed another way, your lifetime risk for heart disease is nearly triple your lifetime risk for breast cancer.)
So, yeah, it's time to give this pulsating powerhouse some love. The AHA released new guidelines in November that urge people to fill up on produce and whole grains, break a sweat for at least 40 minutes a few times a week, and keep cholesterol in check. The research revealed in the following stories (listed below) will help you go even further to, well, heart your heart.
Turns out, a few lifestyle tweaks can lead to a healthier ticker and, by extension, clearer skin, a sharper brain, higher energy levels, and better fertility, says cardiologist and WH advisor Sharonne N. Hayes, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic.
Continue reading about this deadly disease in these related stories:
5 Big Questions About Your Heart
The 4 Heart Disease Conditions You MUST Know About
Learn CPR, Stat!
5 Simple and Easy Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
What Your Heart Looks Like
4 Great (and 4 Terrible) Things for Your Heart
Editor's note: We edited the copy above to more clearly explain that the information about heart disease can be found in the roundup of links, above. Prior to our edits, it wasn't clear that this story was part of a larger feature package made up of multiple pieces.