Active Women Protect Their Bones—And Heart

When women commit to a regular exercise program, they aren’t just protecting their bones—they are also reducing their risk of coronary heart disease.

At Summit, we support the comprehensive health of our patients by encouraging preventative care. We know that physical activity is critical to women’s orthopedic health, but it is important for women to understand that the benefits of exercise don’t end with stronger bones and healthier joints. Fitness through exercise also combats the symptoms that put women at risk for heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. Although deaths related to heart disease have declined for both genders over the last 20 years, the decline is less for women than it is for men. Women also have less favorable outcomes after a heart-related health event. A number of factors make heart health an area of special concern for women.

  • More than 40 percent of women over age 55 have elevated cholesterol levels, a risk factor for heart disease.
  • High blood pressure, another risk factor, affects 52 percent of women over 40 years of age.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to die within the first year after a heart attack.
  • Nearly 63 percent of women who die suddenly from heart disease have no previous symptoms.
  • Women undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery are almost twice as likely as men to die as a result of the procedure. They also experience less symptom relief afterwards, and more often require another operation.

Exercise is an excellent way to help stave off coronary risk factors including high blood pressure, physical inactivity, abdominal fat accumulation, and diabetes. Unfortunately, data indicates that more than 60 percent of women aren’t getting their recommended physical activity, and 25 percent of women do no regular exercise.

You can take steps to protect your bone and heart health. When you lace up your walking shoes or hit the treadmill at least 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week, you aren’t just maintaining your bones and joints. The exercise that is good for your bones is also good for your heart, and can have far-reaching consequences for your quality of life.

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