Suzanne Steinbaum is an osteopath and cardiologist living and working in New York City.
She is known in the media as a passionate fighter for the preservation of women’s heart health, and in her lectures, she has always emphasized the importance of prevention.
He comes from a family of as many as 18 osteopathic doctors.
Curiosity from family life is related to the actions of her grandfather.
He was also a physician and wrote about natural antioxidants’ health benefits – decades before science confirmed it.
Modern life reflects on heart health.
Dr. Steinbaum warns that women are being exposed to increasing stress day by day, trying to balance between the many responsibilities of family and business life.
In doing so, they generally completely neglect themselves, justifying it by lack of time.
Such a way of life and neglect of their own needs strongly affect their heart’s health.
Although until recently, heart disease was considered mostly male, an increasing number of younger women are complaining of palpitations, chest pain, panic attacks, fatigue, and anxiety.
While Dr. Steinbaum worked on Block Island, 30-year-olds and 40-year-olds with various problems came to her office.
All of these, in turn, were successful young women burdened with several responsibilities.
Before the holidays, they were still functioning somehow, but as soon as they relaxed a bit, they would “fall apart.”
Dr. Steinbaum explains this by saying that their stress hormones, which otherwise allowed them to survive frantic days, ended up in the bloodstream on vacation, where they caused a short circuit.
This has resulted in symptoms such as rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure, and chest pain.
Extremely harmful effects of stress
Heart disease, says Dr. Steinbaum, starts long before you think it.
It starts when you don’t feel good and not honest with yourself.
Due to stress, poor diet, passive lifestyle, smoking, and alcohol, maintaining bad relationships, anxiety, or anxiety, your heart already ill, says Dr. Steinbaum.
All patients with severe heart disease have something in common – they are under a lot of stress and feel lonely and misunderstood.
Stress is more harmful to a woman’s heart than a man’s
While men react to stress on the principle of fight or flight, women naturally react to calm down, and friends and usually want to talk about it.
Support, family, and friendship are critical to women.
But as no one has time to talk anymore, they react to stress like men, which hurts their heart’s health.
“Stress can become your life, and it’s the fastest way to wither your heart,” says Dr. Steinbaum.
Indicators of your vitality
Dr. Steinbaum lists several indicators that indicate the level of your heart health and functionality.
Indicators of heart function
shape – good shape contributes to heart health
heart rate – should not be higher than 50-70 beats per minute
smoking – multiplies the risk of vascular and heart diseases
cholesterol levels – To avoid high cholesterol, eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
A holistic approach to a woman – the path to the health of her heart
When a woman comes to the office, Dr. Steinbaum first inquires about the “emotional” state and only then about her heart’s physical state.
He asks the patient if she sleeps well, her life passion is, if she is satisfied with her job, how she feels in a marriage or relationship, etc.
Having worked with many women who have struggled with anger and rage, she has also realized how much such negative emotions threaten heart health.
“If you suppress anger and hatred in your heart, you are poisoning it,” he says. Therefore, it is essential to trigger these emotions, not to suppress them.
It is also essential for a woman to “get out of her head and go down to her heart” because whenever the brain takes the lead, the heart receives less oxygen.
5 tips from Dr. Steinbaum that will strengthen your heart
Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine
The heart is a muscle that does not like passivity and sitting but seeks activity and movement.
Therefore, to have a healthy and strong heart, move as much as possible, and be active.
Find the form of exercise that suits you best, such as running, cycling, Pilates, yoga, dancing, etc.
Dr. Steinbaum recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week or about 30 minutes a day five days a week or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
Distinguish a panic attack from a heart attack
Many young women complain of anxiety and panic attacks, and additional stress and anxiety are created because it is difficult to distinguish panic attacks from heart attacks.
Dr. Steinbaum advises how to recognize what it is about.
This is very important to know because you will certainly not die from a panic attack, while a heart attack can be fatal.
The symptoms of panic attacks and heart attacks are the same: rapid breathing, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, sweating, dizziness, and nausea.
Therefore, if you experience these symptoms, consciously slow down your breathing, the cardiologist advises.
The body will calm down due to slow breathing, you will activate the parasympathetic system, and you will spare your heart any damage.
Here’s what to do in case of a panic attack:
First, take a deep breath until you count to four.
Then hold your breath until you count to four.
In the end, exhale slowly so that you make a shhhh sound and count to six.
After exhaling, hold your breath again until you count to four.
Repeat several times.
If that helps, it means it’s a panic attack. If you still have the same symptoms after this exercise, call a doctor or go to the emergency room yourself, Dr. Steinbaum advises.
Find meaning in life
Besides a healthy diet and exercise, heart health needs to find meaning in life.
It will feed your heart and soul and make you happy, says Dr. Steinbaum.
It doesn’t matter if that higher purpose is related to your job and career, like starting your own business or something else like a hobby.
You must know that you will do what you love and do it for someone better every morning when you get up.
To discover a higher meaning, these questions will help you:
What do you like to do most of all?
What is it that you can’t stop thinking about? What is your dream that you would like to realize?
Be positive and cheerful
Be cheerful and optimistic because optimism is good for your heart.
Research has found that optimistic people have as much as a 50 percent lower risk of a heart attack.
And don’t forget the music.
Find your theme song. It is a song that will awaken strength and a positive attitude in you and which will also relax you when you are under stress.
Sing it loud or quiet because you cannot hyperventilate while you are singing.
The song will help you keep your heart rate low, lower your blood pressure, and prevent any panic attacks.
Keep a diary
Start keeping a diary, in which you will write down what you eat, how much you move, how much you exercise, how much you sleep, whether stress manages your life, whether you have heart problems.
Here you will also write down what you currently want from life, your goals, whether you want to spend more time with dear people, whether you are happy in your current relationship, etc.
This diary can help you spot patterns of behaviors and habits in your life that are harming your heart, becoming aware of your heart’s messages, and finally starting to live up to them.
“There are things in life that you want to change. When you write them down, they become real. ”, says Dr. Steinbaum.
Sources used in this article include:
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s book: A Woman’s Heart.