How You Can Protect Your Heart Health While Still in Your 30s
You are not alone if you are in your 30s and have not yet started to think about your heart health. The aging process may seem like an abstract concept when you are in the prime of your life and career while raising a family. However, what you do in your 30s to take care of your heart can have a significant effect on your health down the road.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, there are seven key factors to consider in your 30s that may help to prevent high blood pressure and heart issues in your 40s. Here is what you need to know.
Many individuals shy away from a strict diet because it seems so restrictive. However, even some simple dietary improvements can go a long way in improving your heart function. When devising your weekly menu, be sure to focus on eating plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, beans, fish, lean poultry, nuts, whole grains, and healthy oils. As with all diet plans, moderation is the key. It is acceptable to allow the occasional splurge if these items form the base of your eating habits.
Body Mass Index
Your body mass index (BMI) goes hand in hand with what you eat. Your BMI is the measure of body fat based on both height and weight and applied to your gender. While it varies between individuals and genders, the general goal is to shoot for a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. A healthier BMI will automatically lower your risk of developing a host of ailments as you age.
There is a strong connection between heart disease and diabetes. This makes it imperative that you keep your blood sugar levels in check if you want to protect your heart. High blood sugar may be responsible for the damage of the blood vessels and nerves that control your heart function.
There is no getting around the fact that smoking is one of the very worst things that you can do for your health. If you are a smoker, stop. It is as simple as that. Even the occasional cigarette can cause significant harm.
Your blood pressure is directly related to your heart health. The increasing force of blood through your arteries can damage artery walls. Having both high blood pressure and diabetes can greatly increase your risk for heart disease. If you have a family history of high blood pressure, it is a good investment of your money to purchase a home monitoring kit.
It is never too early to begin monitoring your cholesterol. Too much bad LDL cholesterol in the blood can cause plaque to form and congregate on damaged artery walls, leading to a variety of heart issues. Your doctor can perform a simple blood test to test your cholesterol levels. It is a good idea to check these levels once per year while in your 30s. Although your cholesterol is often affected by your diet, there are some genetic predispositions that may mean you need to keep a close eye on these levels.
It does not take a medical professional to know that a sedentary lifestyle is not good for your overall heart health. Do not miss the chance in your 30s to build up good exercise habits. You do not have to run a marathon or compete in a triathlon to boost your heart health through regular physical activity. Aiming for 30-45 minutes of exercise at least five days a week is a good goal to shoot for.
If tackling all seven of these areas seems too overwhelming, try with focusing on just a few of them. Chances are, once you start focusing on one or two elements, the other factors will generally improve. For example, watching what you eat and getting in enough exercise each week will clearly improve your body mass index while lowering your blood pressure. Your 40s will be here before you know it. Do not wait around to start thinking about how you can improve your heart health now in your 30s.
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