Understanding how you can improve your heart health is essential to living a long and healthy life. Here are four common heart misconceptions and their realities.
1. Only Older People Need to Worry about Heart Health
One in three Americans has some type of cardiovascular disease and plaque can begin building in your arteries during childhood and adolescence. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle from a young age, including a well-balanced diet and regular exercise, can help reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease later on in life.
2. There Are Clear Warning Signs of High Blood Pressure
Most people assume that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is accompanied by obvious symptoms. In fact, high blood pressure is often called the “silent killer” because its symptoms are not always obvious. The best way to determine if you have high blood pressure is to receive a complete examination from your doctor, including a blood pressure check.
3. A Family History of Heart Disease Means You Can’t Prevent It
While a family history of heart disease can increase your risk of having it, you can do many things to reduce your risk or prevent it. Yoga is good for your heart along with many other physical activities. Practicing a healthy diet, refraining from smoking and managing your levels of alcohol consumption are all effective ways of reducing your risk of heart disease.
4. You Shouldn’t Exercise after a Heart Attack
After a heart attack, it’s important to work with your doctor to develop a plan for lifestyle changes, which will likely include regular exercise. While it’s important to not push your body too hard following a heart attack, exercise is an important factor in strengthening your heart and preventing a future heart attack.