According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 70% of Americans have a heart age that is older than their actual age. On average, men have a heart age that is 7.8 years older than their actual age, and women have a heart age that is 5.4 years older than their actual age. Heart age is based on a number of risk factors, including age, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and smoking status.
As you age, your heart health can decline. However, there are many things you can do to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Here are some tips:
- Get regular exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also important to limit your intake of saturated and unhealthy fats, sugar, and sodium.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Manage stress. Stress can contribute to heart disease, so it is important to find healthy ways to manage stress. Some helpful strategies include exercise, meditation, and yoga.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is one of the leading causes of heart disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your heart health.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of heart disease. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Get regular checkups. Your doctor can check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
By following these tips, you can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Here are some additional tips that you may find helpful:
- Get to know your family’s heart health history. If you have a family history of heart disease, you may be at an increased risk. Talk to your doctor about your risk factors.
- Take a heart health class. There are many classes available that can teach you about heart health and how to make healthy lifestyle changes.
- Join a heart health support group. Talking to others who are facing similar challenges can be helpful.
Remember, heart disease is a serious condition, but it is preventable. By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.