Have you ever tried to know how old your heart is? Most of you will say, I am young at heart and my age count is just a number. You do this, as you never want to be old. For this, you always look for the things that you can do to stay young at heart.
As per the CDCP, Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention, approximately 50% of the adult men and 20% of adult women have a heart, which is 5 years older in comparison with their chronological age. In blacks, this gap is wider than Americans. People in every country across the globe have an older heart than their actual age.
What makes your heart older than you?
Apart from your genes, your lifestyle is more responsible for having an older heart. Your lifestyle, especially bad one, makes you vulnerable for heart diseases. More risk factors mean you have older heart. Most of the risk factors are out of your control. However, some are under your control. Here are the risk factors that make your heart older than your actual age:
- Chronological age – As you turn 50 or 55, your risk of heart disease starts increasing. It happens, as your blood vessels initiate to stiffen and there is a plaque build-up in your arteries.
- Gender – In comparison with females, males have heart diseases approximately 10 years earlier. Women are safe due to their estragon until menopause.
- Family history – You have a higher risk of heart diseases if anyone of your family members has been diagnosed with it before 55 or 65.
- Blood pressure – Your heart gets older as your blood pressure goes beyond 120/80 mm Hg.
- Cholesterol – Your heart age is closely related to your cholesterol. Having higher cholesterol means you have an older heart.
- Smoking – Whether you are a mild or acute smoker, your smoking habit increases your risks of having heart problems.
- Weight – Extra weight means increases load pressure on your heart
- Diabetes – Diabetes enhances your health issues, including heart problems.
Things to do to stay young at heart
Ageing doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your heart young. At any stage in your life, you can take steps to reduce the risk factors that make your heart older. Here are a few things that you can do to stay young at heart:
- Stay away from chronic diseases or health conditions – For having a young heart, you need to have a healthy body. As you age, you have a higher risk of having chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart problems. You need to keep yourself away from these health conditions. Have a constant contact with your doctor and take all the possible steps to prevent these health issues.
- Be highly active – Walking is a great ingredient for a healthy heart. Running will be far better if you can run every day. Leave your bed a little earlier in the morning and go for a jogging, running, or walking in a nearby park/garden.
- Have heart-healthy foods – The foods you eat have a greater impact your overall health, including the heart. To keep your heart young, you must eat heart-healthy foods. You should take the foods that are high in fibre (fruits, whole grains, and vegetables) and low in sodium (salt). Further, you need to reduce your intake of trans and saturated fats that are in cookies and fried food items.
- Sleep well at night – Having a sound sleep is crucial for a healthy life. A sound sleep at night makes your body get repaired from the wears and tears it faces during the day. In addition, it makes you feel fresh and get ready for the next day. Talk to your doctor if you notice that you aren’t having a sound sleep at night.
- Control your weight – To be stay young at heart, you need to have a control over your weight. You shouldn’t be overweight or underweight if you are serious to have a healthy and fit life. Make every possible effort to lose your weight if you get over weighted and gain weight if you are underweight. Have a close look at your BMI to have a normal weight.
- Stop smoking and drinking – Smoking and drinking is a true enemy to your health. You smoke or drink a little in the initial stage. But later, smoking/drinking becomes your habit. Gradually, you are an addict. Whether you smoke or drink, you invite a plaque build-up in your arteries. This plaque restricts blood flow to your different body parts, including the heart. Due to this, you have a blockage in your heart and a higher risk of heart attacks and other allied problems. Leave this habit as soon as possible.
- Have regular health check-ups – Having health check-ups regularly keeps you alert and asks you to take the requisite action to get rid of the issues that could arise in the future. Start your health check-ups earlier and keep it going on throughout your life.
- Don’t avoid unusual symptoms – You need to listen to your body. Never make a delay to contact your doctor if you see any abnormal signs in your body, whether the signs are visible or invisible. Take a quick action if you notice: breathing difficulties, chest pain, doom feeling, swellings in your legs, unexplained fatigue, confusion, dizziness, and heart palpitations.
By knowing the associated risks and the steps to take, you can keep your heart younger. And a younger heart means you are younger than usual.