Here are some small and meaningful steps you can take at any age that can protect your heart health and decrease the odds of you developing heart disease in the future.
People in their 20s and 30s don’t tend to worry about their heart health unless there’s family history. Although this is understandable, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in every 4 people in America dies from heart disease, a pretty damning statistic.
Luckily there are small and meaningful steps you can take at any age that can protect your heart health and decrease the odds of you developing some form of heart disease in the future.
Here are 5 everyday changes in your life you can embrace in order to improve your heart health; the sooner you adopt these, the better:
Get regular check ups
Don’t skip out on your annual check ups. These routine visits help you get a clear picture of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and more, which is important for maintaining heart health.
Learn your family history
When it comes to heart disease, your immediate family history plays a significant role. Get informed about your family’s history with high cholesterol, blood pressure and strokes, especially if these issues presented to your parents while under the age of 65. Keep the research limited to your parents, aunts and uncles.
Learn about different kinds of food
Americans aren’t the best when it comes to food, reporting high amounts of obesity and heart disease. Fast foods are delicious, quick and cheap, making them a hard habit to break. Still, there’s plenty of great foods that are healthy. The best way to approach this problem is to learn about these foods and to get into the habit of eating them and making the time to prep them yourself.
Be more active
Adopting a more active lifestyle isn’t just limited to visiting the gym a few times a week. Small goals like walking more often and taking the stairs over using the elevator make a difference and remove some of the pressure from the gym. Cardio workouts that improve heart health can be conducted 30 minutes a day, and can be completed in sequence or split up in 10 minute intervals throughout your day. It doesn’t matter how many calories you burn, what matters is that you move.
Don’t forget about your mental health
It’s easy to forget that heart health is influenced by your physical health and your mental headspace. The Heart Foundation explains that people who have depression, are socially isolated and have poor social support are at a greater risk of developing a heart condition. It’s important to be aware of your mental health and to speak to a professional when something feels off.