Some risk factors are not modifiable. Your family history and age can’t be prevented or changed. Find out your genetic risk for heart disease. You can’t change either of these factors, but you can control other things.
Modifiable risk factors are the things you can change. These include:
- Weight (obesity/overweight)
- Diabetes (type-2)
- High blood pressure
- Abnormal cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
The best time to get aggressive about heart health is in your 20s.
Improve Heart Health in Six Weeks
- Week One: Clean out the pantry and refrigerator, removing those processed foods. Restock with fresh fruits, grains, vegetables and lean meats.
- Week Two: Get moving. Increase your speed or distance when walking. Take the stairs when you can. Get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week. Get up once an hour if you work at a desk.
- Week Three: You are what you eat. Make smart choices when dining out. Prepare by handicapping the menu before you reach the restaurant. Create tasty, healthy foods at home.
- Week Four: Form a great relationship with your doctor. You should be partners in health. Prepare for your visits. Ask for referrals from friends and families to find a doctor who works for you. Never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. Share the journey of heart health with your loved ones.
- Week Five: Reduce your stress. Take some time to enjoy life. Stop bragging about how little sleep you get and start working on how to get more quality sleep. Lack of sleep is no longer a badge of honor. See your doctor if you aren't getting good sleep.
- Week Six: Figure out how to turn these things into habits.