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Heart Health in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Heart-Health-in-20s,-30s.JPGWhen you’re young and healthy, heart disease can seem like the last thing on your list of issues you need to worry about, but the truth is that it’s never too early to worry about a healthy heart. According to the CDC’s most recent research, one in every four deaths can be blamed on heart disease.

“Preventing heart disease doesn’t start late in life,” says Matthew Hillis, MD, cardiologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital. “Leading a healthy lifestyle, even starting from your childhood and teenage years, can go far in preventing the onset of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.”

Below, Dr. Hillis offers tips for patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to improve their heart health.

In your 20s
The sooner you start practicing healthy habits, the easier it will be to keep up with them in the future. Whether you’re a habitual smoker or just have a cigarette or two socially, quit now. Not only will it decrease your risk for heart disease, but also cancer and a number of other health issues. Try to maintain a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine, and limit your alcohol intake to no more than once or twice a week.

“Your twenties are a good opportunity to set a precedent for the healthy habits that you want to follow for your whole life,” explains Dr. Hillis. “Preventing heart disease starts by practicing these healthy habits from a young age.”

In your 30s
In your early twenties, you probably found it easier to stay up late than you do now. But with a longer to-do list that can include a demanding career or young children, sleep has become a luxury. But lack of sleep can take its toll: fewer than five hours of shut-eye per night can increase your heart disease risk by 39 percent. In your thirties, make it a priority to get enough sleep and set aside time every day and every week to relax and keep your stress levels in check.

And remember that exercise you were doing in your twenties? Keep it up, but start adding bouts of strength training in there, too.

In your 40s
As you age, it becomes harder to keep healthy habits going strong. Luckily, you started them early. Keep eating a healthy diet and scheduling regular workouts. It’s also a good time to develop a relationship with your doctor, especially if it’s been a year or more since your last visit.

“It’s always important to visit your primary care doctor for regular appointments, but particularly as you age. Make sure they’re aware of your personal health history, as well as your family’s. If someone in your family has had heart disease or cancer, make your doctor aware that you could be at increased risk,” says Dr. Hillis.

Looking for more tips on how you can build a healthier heart? Visit our archive of heart health articles. To find a primary care doctor or a cardiologist in your area, visit our website.

 
Posted by Main Line Health on 1/10/2014 4:30:23 PM
Read more articles about: Heart, Matthew_Hillis_MD, Bryn_Mawr_Hospital

Heart Health in Your 20s, 30s and 40s

Heart-Health-in-20s,-30s.JPGWhen you’re young and healthy, heart disease can seem like the last thing on your list of issues you need to worry about, but the truth is that it’s never too early to worry about a healthy heart. According to the CDC’s most recent research, one in every four deaths can be blamed on heart disease.

“Preventing heart disease doesn’t start late in life,” says Matthew Hillis, MD, cardiologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital. “Leading a healthy lifestyle, even starting from your childhood and teenage years, can go far in preventing the onset of heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.”

Below, Dr. Hillis offers tips for patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s to improve their heart health.

In your 20s
The sooner you start practicing healthy habits, the easier it will be to keep up with them in the future. Whether you’re a habitual smoker or just have a cigarette or two socially, quit now. Not only will it decrease your risk for heart disease, but also cancer and a number of other health issues. Try to maintain a balanced diet and a regular exercise routine, and limit your alcohol intake to no more than once or twice a week.

“Your twenties are a good opportunity to set a precedent for the healthy habits that you want to follow for your whole life,” explains Dr. Hillis. “Preventing heart disease starts by practicing these healthy habits from a young age.”

In your 30s
In your early twenties, you probably found it easier to stay up late than you do now. But with a longer to-do list that can include a demanding career or young children, sleep has become a luxury. But lack of sleep can take its toll: fewer than five hours of shut-eye per night can increase your heart disease risk by 39 percent. In your thirties, make it a priority to get enough sleep and set aside time every day and every week to relax and keep your stress levels in check.

And remember that exercise you were doing in your twenties? Keep it up, but start adding bouts of strength training in there, too.

In your 40s
As you age, it becomes harder to keep healthy habits going strong. Luckily, you started them early. Keep eating a healthy diet and scheduling regular workouts. It’s also a good time to develop a relationship with your doctor, especially if it’s been a year or more since your last visit.

“It’s always important to visit your primary care doctor for regular appointments, but particularly as you age. Make sure they’re aware of your personal health history, as well as your family’s. If someone in your family has had heart disease or cancer, make your doctor aware that you could be at increased risk,” says Dr. Hillis.

Looking for more tips on how you can build a healthier heart? Visit our archive of heart health articles. To find a primary care doctor or a cardiologist in your area, visit our website.

 
Posted by Main Line Health on 1/10/2014 4:30:23 PM
Read more articles about: Heart, Matthew_Hillis_MD, Bryn_Mawr_Hospital
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