The Importance of Heart Disease Prevention

The fact remains that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, even though the majority of heart attacks and strokes are preventable.

According to federal health officials, half of U.S. men and 40 percent of U.S. women have a “heart age” that’s older than their years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines heart age as the condition of your heart and blood vessels as a result of risk factors for heart disease. For example, a 45 year old man who has greater risk factors (smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure) most likely has a heart age of 75. In fact, most U.S. adults between the ages of 30 and 74 have a heart age that’s older than their actual age, with men averaging 8 years older and women averaging 5.

So how do you slow down the rate at which your heart ages? Making lifestyle changes can be challenging, but will ultimately increase longevity and improve your quality of life. The best way is to choose just one or two risk factors at a time that you’re willing to change. Below are some of the most effective preventative care habits:

  • Maintain healthy weight and cholesterol levels.
  • Engage in regular physical activity. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as aerobics, cardio, or strength training.
  • Avoid smoking, quit if you’ve already started, and avoid secondhand smoke.
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure. The ideal blood pressure is under 120/80. Talk to your doctor about how to keep this number under control.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. A recent Circulation study found that young adults who ate 5+ servings of produce per day were 26 percent less likely to develop heart disease.
  • In general, eat a healthy diet that’s low in trans fats and sodium.

To get an estimate of your heart age, check out the CDC’s free online heart age predictor. The most accurate way to detect signs of heart disease is with coronary artery scanning, or Heart Scans. ZendyHealth can help you schedule an affordable Heart Scan with a reputable and certified provider near you at your own price—get started today and save from 20-60% on what you’d normally pay!

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