Understanding Heart Age
Are you as young at heart as you feel? More and more, Americans are discovering that their heart’s aging process has been accelerating alongside other negative national health trends. These include a rise in sedentary lifestyles, increasing incidences of diabetes and obesity, and many other diet and lifestyle trends that negatively impact health.
For enduring good health, you want a “heart age” that is equal to, or younger than, your actual age. But studies show that nearly half of all Florida adults have a heart age that is five or more years older than their actual age. This means that many Floridians need to worry about heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and other health complications earlier in their lifetime.
Fortunately, there are ways to lower your risk factors for heart disease and improve the health of your heart. Some of the biggest risk factors for accelerated heart aging include:
- High Blood Pressure
- Being Overweight
To lower your risk of heart disease, the CDC recommends:
- If you have high blood pressure, work with your doctor to get it under control.
- If you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about a treatment plan to manage it.
- If you have diabetes, work with your doctor on a treatment plan to manage your diabetes.
- Work to quit smoking if you currently smoke. If you don’t smoke, don’t start!
- Eat a healthy diet high in fresh vegetables.
- Get 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise such as walking.
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