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Healthy Heart, Healthy Reproductive System

We hear a lot about the effects of diet and exercise on heart health and every woman should pay attention to those guidelines since the NIH reports that Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is the #1 killer of both women and men in the US. Their data indicates that 1 in 4 women die of CHD.

Less often do we consider the effects of diet and exercise on our reproductive health and this is just as important. Fortunately, the recommendations for a healthy heart are also appropriate for your reproductive health.

Obesity causes an array of gynecological issues throughout a woman’s lifetime. Unhealthy weight in teen and young adult females can have lasting impact on reproductive health. Excessive weight often is the cause of infertility in women. The NIH reports that overweight and obese women are at higher risk for cancers of the breast, endometrium (lining of the uterus) and ovaries. Fat tissue produces excess amounts of estrogen and high levels of estrogen have been associated with increased risks of gynecological cancers. Surgical complications are greatly increased with obsess patients, which makes treatment of these cancers more difficult. Symptoms of menopause are also exacerbated by excess weight.

Diet and exercise are critically important to bone health. A focus on fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy oils, nuts and grains will provide the nutrients necessary for overall good health. Exercise is vital along with the healthy diet. Adequate calcium and Vitamin D intake are critical for women’s health, especially for preventing osteoporosis.

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is a contributing factor for all of these health issues. Stopping smoking is beneficial for your reproductive health and general health at every stage of a woman’s life.

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO BEGIN HEALTHY EATING AND EXERCISING TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH!

Some helpful resources for maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program:

https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Weight-Control-Eating-Right-and-Keeping-Fit

https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Staying-Active-Physical-Activity-and-Exercise

https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Healthy-Eating

https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/prevention/prevention-and-healthy-living/

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/exercise-physical-activity/sample-exercises-strength