While some risky behaviors may lead to experiencing new things and finding your own path through adulthood, risking your health at a young age may actually be one of the worst things you can do.
Recent findings suggest that for people below the age of 40 need to be mindful of their blood pressure levels and cholesterol. Having systolic blood pressure levels of 130 mm Hg (level 1 hypertension) is associated with a 37% higher risk of heart failure later in life. People with “bad” cholesterol levels of 100 mg/dl or higher is associated with a 64% higher risk of coronary heart disease.
What’s worse, the above numbers are the bottom end of the “bad spectrum.” Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels could be worse, increasing your risk factors for these conditions and the development of other issues.
Dr. Andrew Moran, a principal investigator at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York and senior author of the findings in the above findings, writes that “our results show that waiting until middle age or older years to improve diet and exercise can’t always reverse the cumulative damage made during young adulthood.”
For some people, making lifestyle changes is an important first step to maintaining the health of your heart. Read the next section if you are curious about some of the changes you can make now to support your heart at every stage of life.
Ways to Support Heart Health
The American Heart Association has some great tips to support your heart no matter what age group you fall into.
- Choose heart healthy foods.
- Stay active with up to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week; plus, twice weekly do muscle strengthening activities for 60 minutes that work all major muscle groups.
- Know the warning signs of a cardiovascular problem.
In your 20s:
- Schedule regular wellness exams.
- No smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
In your 30s:
- If you have a family, engage in activities that promote healthy eating and exercise habits.
- Learn about your family history and risk factors for disease.
- Learn how to manage stress.
In your 40s:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Check your blood sugar levels with a doctor.
- Learn how your snoring may be an early sign of heart problems.
- Stick with your healthy diet.
- Brush up on the warning signs of heart problems.
- If you are receiving treatment for any disease, following your prescribed plan.
- Have an ankle-brachial test in your 60s to check for peripheral artery disease.
- Don’t let weight worsen with age.
- Eat more nutrient rich foods if you find your appetite is shrinking.
In addition to these suggestions, you speak with your doctor about using supplements as part of a healthy lifestyle. Learn more about some of these supplements below!
Heart Support Supplements
Methyl-Guard Plus Methylation Factors from Thorne Research contains folate, riboflavin, and vitamins B6 and B12, which seeks to support a healthy cardiovascular system, central nervous system, detoxification, immune system health, and the development of DNA.
Berberine Balance from Douglas Laboratories may help you to maintain blood sugar and cholesterol levels already within the normal range, provides antioxidants that may support the development of cells in a healthy heart, and may also support metabolic functions that take place in the heart.
When looking to provide support for the heart, it is always important to talk with your primary care physician before making any lifestyle changes or adding supplements to your daily routine.
Additionally, even if you live a healthy lifestyle, genetics can play a role in cholesterol and blood pressure levels. So make sure to get tested to learn about what more you can be doing to support your health heart each day.