It’s never too soon to start thinking about your heart health. Heart disease is a major cause of death in the U.S., particularly among women. Women’s health advocates caution that heart disease kills more women than cancer, although proper heart care is important for individuals of both sexes. During your 20s, consider talking to a physician about your risk factors of heart disease and how you can lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Schedule Regular Wellness Exams
If you haven’t yet found a primary care physician, it’s a good idea to do so. Your family doctor keeps track of your wellness over time and provides invaluable preventive health services, such as screenings. When you schedule your annual wellness exam, consider talking to your doctor about your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, heart rate, and body mass index (BMI). Taking steps in your 20s to manage these measurements of wellness may help you live a long, healthy life.

Lead a Physically Active Lifestyle
Exercising on most days of the week is an effective way to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease. Find a variety of exercises you enjoy, including aerobic exercise and strength training activities. Some individuals experience obstacles to physical activity, such as those with disabilities. If this applies to you, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist. He or she can help you learn how to stay active despite having a disability.

Avoid Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
If you smoke, it’s highly advisable to talk to your doctor about smoking cessation methods. Smoking is a major risk factor of heart disease and many other life-threatening medical conditions. Even if you don’t smoke, you may still be at risk because of exposure to secondhand smoke. Limit your exposure by ensuring that no one smokes in your home or car.

These are just a few examples of lifestyle choices that support heart health. Call our Consult-A-Nurse team 24/7 at 855-226-7344 to find a specialist, schedule an appointment, or learn more about services at StoneSprings Hospital Center.