Women in exercise clothes do a group high five

Every 80 seconds a woman dies of cardiovascular disease, which is also the leading cause of death amongst women. Every 1 in 2 women in the United states has cardiovascular disease and 1 in 3 die because of it.

Avoid becoming a statistic and follow these seven tips to keep your heart healthy, as recommended by Loma Linda University Health cardiologist Purvi Parwani, MD. The Good news is 80 percent of the deaths due to cardiovascular disease can be prevented.

Stay active. Exercise at least three times per week for 30 minutes. Getting your heart rate up through physical activity will limit your risk of a cardiovascular disease by 28 percent. If you have a busy routine, take stairs. Park farther away and walk to the grocery store. Take a break from work and do brisk walking for half an hour after lunch. If you have a wearable monitor make sure you get at least 10,000 steps a day.

Quit smoking. Smokers who quit smoking cut their risk of cardiovascular disease by 71 percent.

Know Your Numbers. Six out of 10 women don’t know their numbers, mainly blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol numbers and body mass index (BMI). If you get your BMI in normal range (18.5-24.9), your risk of cardiovascular disease drops by 32 percent.

Avoid alcohol. Drinking alcoholic beverages can lead to high blood pressure, an increased calorie intake, and increased cardiovascular problems like arrhythmias and heart failure.

Eat heart healthy. While there are many diets claiming to be heart healthy, Parwani suggests to keep it simple. “Make sure you visualize three colors on your plate.” Also, if you’re a meat eater, replace red meat with white, and avoid processed foods.

Limit static activity. Limit how much TV you watch every day. According to the American Heart Association, too much sedentary time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and death.

Be your own advocate. Parwani says prevention is a cure. She also encourages women and men to see their doctor regularly and not be afraid to ask questions. “Be your own advocate. Know your health history and keep a journal or diary of your health so you don’t forget anything when it’s time to see your doctor.”

Are you at risk for a heart attack? Click here to take your risk assessment; or to learn more about LLU International Heart Institute, visit ihi.lomalindahealth.org.