February is American Heart Month!
Regardless of your age you can take charge and prevent cardiovascular disease and maintain a healthy heart. Starting a heart-healthy lifestyle early you will gain long-term benefits.
Prevention tips for people under 30
It's never too young to start a heart-healthy routine. A good first step is having an annual physical, routine blood and a lipid panel. These important numbers will provide you and your primary care practitioner a baseline for future annual check-ups.
In addition, understand your family medical history. Being aware of your family medical history is beneficial and will let you know if you may be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. This wealth of information will afford you the opportunity to start early with a heart-heathy lifestyle. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Regular physical activity
- Eat a balance meals and follow the American Heart Association recommendation on portion size
- Live tobacco free - this includes vape and nicotine products. Here are tips to help you become smoke free.
Prevention tips for people 30-50
As you reach your middle-age years, the need to balance family and career can lead to stress which can be taxing on your heart. It's essential to maintain an annual medical check-up. Based on your medical history your primary doctor may decide to start checking blood work twice a year, dependent on your health.
To help you during this stage of life the American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week for heart health. Exercise include a variety of activities such as jumping rope, playing tennis, swimming, running, as well as lower impact activities such as walking.
Incorporating brisk physical activity adds a bonus and contributes to the prevention of the following:
- Improved bone health
- Increases cognition and memory function
- Relieves stress
In addition, getting adequate rest is key. A good night’s sleep is your body’s opportunity refresh and recharge.
Prevention tips for people 50 and beyond
For those in their fifties and beyond, it might be time to consider making changes to your overall dietary habits if you have neglected it overtime. It is recommended either limit or give up caffeine altogether. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant which can cause heart palpitations and put a strain on this most valuable muscle. Instead, consider switching to decaffeinated beverages and herbal teas, however, check the label to ensure there aren't any ingredients that may act as a stimulant.
It's also important to remain physically active and keep up a fitness routine, daily walks are always a great choice. Any form of exercise as long as it is not too strenuous on your body will benefit your heart and overall health.
There are several new screenings your doctor may perform to keep tabs on your heart health. Ask your primary care provider about what diagnostic tests may be appropriate for your age.
Screenings may include:
- C-reactive proteins
It’s never too early to take action to achieve and maintain a heart healthy lifestyle.
Church Home LifeSpring invites you to contact us to learn more about our person-centered care and rehabilitation services.