When people hear the phrase “heart disease”, far too often they consider it as an “old person’s problem”. Many young people write off heart attacks and other serious heart problems as only affecting you when you get old and sick. This common misconception around heart disease is a dangerous way of thinking. In fact, the truth is that you are really never too old or too young to take care of your heart.
Cardiologist Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee offers these few heart smart tips for young people to keep their hearts in working condition.
- Remain Physically Active: Developing an active lifestyle that you can sustain is much easier the younger you are. Find physical activities that you enjoy, whether it’s the working out, hiking, or playing a sport and incorporate that into your weekly routine.
- Avoid Smoking and Secondhand Smoke: It may have seemed like the cool thing to do when you were a teen, but smoking is truly one of the worst things you can do for your health. Studies show that in addition to smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke creates an increase of 30% in the likelihood of developing heart and health problems. If there ever was a time to quit, now would be it.
- Control Your Stress: Life can get out of hand whether we expect it to or not. This means stress levels can fluctuate at alarming rates due to the stress. Long term stress on the heart can cause major issues, including damage to the artery walls, increased blood pressure, and skyrocketing heart rate. Find healthy and mindful ways to get your stress under control.
- Watch Your Weight: The older and less active you get, the slower your metabolism becomes. This can increase your weight, making your heart work more than it should. Following a heart-healthy diet and exercise plan can help keep this under control.
- Regularly Visit Your Doctor: You may not enjoy visiting the doctor, but getting regular wellness exams is a necessary part of keeping your body healthy. Find a doctor that you like, establish a relationship, and get screened for blood pressure, body mass, cholesterol, and talk about the perfect balance of diet and exercise for your health goals.
The earlier you get smart about your heart health, the sooner you can catch or stave off any potential problems. For more information on getting heart smart, be sure to check back with Dr. Satyabrata Chatterjee.