Stay Heart Healthy at Any Age- Dean - WI

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     sound advice for good health
     at all ages.

Published on February 10, 2015

Stay Heart Healthy at Any Age

If you’re relatively young and healthy, heart disease may be the last thing on your mind. But it’s never too early to get informed and start making healthy choices to prevent one of the most common causes of death in the United States. These steps will help you now and later in life.

  1. Get Your Basic Tests Done: While it may seem early, you should start getting cholesterol screenings in your early 20s. Continue cholesterol tests every 4 to 6 years after your initial screening and keep track of your numbers. That way you’ll know if you’re on a healthy track or if you need to make some changes. Every time you visit your doctor, make sure they take your weight and blood pressure. As much as we hate stepping on the scale, being overweight is a risk for heart disease, so knowing your numbers benefits you in the long run.

  2. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle: It’s never too early (or too late) to begin a regular exercise and healthy eating plan. Strive to exercise every day, even if it’s just a brisk walk. If you’re in your 20s, vary your routine with weight-bearing exercises and strength training to reduce the risk of diseases like osteoporosis later in life. All ages should limit fatty foods and eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein. Quit smoking and cut back on alcohol consumption, both of which are a risk for heart disease. While it’s often overlooked in our busy lives, sleep is just as important to your health as exercise and diet. Take some simple steps to ensure you get a good night’s rest.

  3. Get to Know Your Doctor: After pediatric care ends, many women in their early 20s delay finding a primary care doctor because they feel young and healthy, they haven’t yet secured a job with benefits or they just don’t have the time. But finding a doctor you trust early on is important for your health now and later. Be sure to schedule regular check-ups and ask your doctor lots of questions. Don’t wait until there’s something wrong to find a doctor. If you’re in your 30s, 40s or beyond and you find yourself avoiding the doctor, ask yourself why. You might need to find someone new who makes you feel more comfortable.

  4. Learn Your Family History: Talk to your parents and other family members to create a medical history family tree. Find out if any of your relatives experienced heart disease or other common health problems. If you think you’re at risk, talk to your doctor and take the necessary steps for prevention. If your kids are old enough, go over your family’s medical history with them, so they know what choices to make in their own lives.

How do you stay heart healthy? Tell us below!

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