April 14, 2022 4:07 pm
Your heart is the engine that keeps your body running. A healthy heart means every other part of your body is getting the blood and oxygen it needs to perform at its best.
However, good heart health isn’t something you can take for granted. Having a healthy heart requires making good decisions every day, and those decisions don’t just benefit your cardiovascular system.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, choosing heart-healthy behaviors can also prevent chronic and potentially fatal conditions like Type 2 diabetes and cancer. Heart health means whole body health, and here’s how to achieve it.
How Do I Get a Strong, Healthy Heart?
Regardless of your age and current health status, there’s a good chance you can improve your heart health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends the following measures for strengthening your heart health and maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system:
- Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Reduce alcohol intake.
- Start a regular exercise program.
- Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
These tips are particularly vital for people who are at high risk of developing heart disease or other heart-related complications. This includes people who have high cholesterol, are overweight or obese, are over age 55 if female and age 45 if male, and have family members who have developed heart disease.
Heart Health Tips for All Age Groups
It’s never too early or too late to start improving heart health. The American Heart Association recommends heart-healthy strategies for a variety of age groups:
- People in their 20s should get regular wellness exams, be physically active and avoid smoking.
- People in their 30s should involve their families in heart-healthy activities, learn their family history of heart conditions and reduce their stress.
- People in their 40s should maintain a healthy weight, get their blood sugar checked and focus on good sleep habits.
- People in their 50s should stick to a healthy diet, and both men and women should learn the warning signs of heart attacks, which aren’t always the same.
- People in their 60s and older should pay even closer attention to heart health with annual screenings and being prepared for heart-related emergencies.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can go a long way toward increasing heart health, but cardiovascular problems can sneak up on even the healthiest people. That’s why it’s important to speak with your doctor about your heart disease risk and undergo any screenings he or she recommends.
If you’re concerned about your heart health or need screenings, schedule an appointment with a MRHC cardiologist.
This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center