No matter what your age, it’s never too early or too late to starting taking your heart health seriously. In fact, February is American Heart Month, making now the perfect time to evaluate your cardiac health, and create new, heart healthy habits. Read on for tips on how you can better care for your heart in your current phase of life.
Prevention is key to keeping your heart healthy. The earlier in life you can create healthy habits, the better. Make a point to eat healthy, nourishing foods every day. Explore different types of exercise, and find one you’ll make time for several times a week. Get to a healthy body weight and maintain it. You’ll also want to develop a relationship with a physician you trust, and get a yearly physical.
The 30s often come with extra pressures. Whether you’re building a family, a career, or juggling both, you may begin to feel more stressed than before, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Negate the effects of stress on your heart by taking part in healthy activities you find relaxing, such as exercise, meditation or therapy. You should also review your family history of heart disease and stroke, and share it with your physician.
Your metabolism will likely take a dip as you enter your 40s, which can result in weight gain. Keep up your exercise routine and eat plenty of heart healthy foods to avoid putting on excessive pounds. You should also pay attention to your snoring: sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart attack. If you excessively snore, make an appointment with your physician for treatment, and consider wearing a CPAP machine while you sleep.
All your efforts to keep your heart healthy are particularly important at this age, as your risk for heart attack and stroke increases around 50. Reevaluate your diet, and incorporate plenty of leafy greens, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains meals. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of heart attack and stroke. You should also continue to get regular screenings, and stick to any treatment plan your physician prescribes.
As you age, exercises you once enjoyed may become painful or too difficult. Instead of giving up your exercise routine, find an age-friendly activity you enjoy, such as swimming or walking. You should also continue to eat plenty of nutritious foods, and should consider cutting back on meat. Continue to have an open dialogue with your doctor, and get regular heart screenings.
American Heart Month is the perfect time to re-examine your cardiac health and create heart healthy habits. Get more information about heart health and cardiac care at Baptist Health.