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Menopause doesn’t cause heart disease, but taking steps to continue a healthy lifestyle, with adequate exercise and proper nutrition are paramount to maintaining a lower risk for complications from menopause, as well as lowering your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association recommends at least a 150 minutes of physical activity per week to help prevent heart disease. Try brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or whatever exercise works best for you. Exercising regularly while maintaining a healthy diet (rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains) will help prevent heart disease and unhealthy blood pressure, as well as helping to alleviate symptoms and complications during menopause.

For more information, read heart.org’s article on menopause and heart disease.