While you’re out partying it up every weekend and eating out every night, it might seem like heart disease is something that you won’t have to worry about for many years to come. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. Now is the time in your life when you should be preparing your body for the years to come and keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important ways you can do that. Here are five ways that you can change your life now for the better of your heart later…
Start a healthy eating plan
No one expects you to give up your late-night poutine trips or your break-up ice cream binges in their entirety but making minor changes to your eating habits now can greatly improve your heart health in the future. Start upping your intake of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, oily fish, nuts, legume, and seeds. Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars/sweeteners, as well as low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Just like all the other muscles in your body need exercise to keep you lean and fit, your heart muscles need cardio and movement to keep it in prime form as well. Start trying out various forms of physical activities now and discover what you like and what will keep your interest well into your later years. All it takes is 3-4 hours a week of moderate intensity activity to make a noticeable difference in your health now and years from now.
Find a good doctor
Just because you’re current doctor has been tending to you since your days as a colicky newborn, doesn’t mean he or she is still the best person to care for you into the future. Seek out a physician who you are comfortable with and who you can build a relationship with. Talk to them regularly about your diet, wellness, history and any health concerns you have. Let them know you are trying to up your heart-health for the future and see what specifics they suggest for you in particular.
Kick the butts
Whether you’re a social smoker, a “drunk smoker”, or a full-fledge smoker, this is the time in your life to nix the habit, no matter what role it plays in your life. Even exposure to secondhand smoke can pose a serious health hazard, so as much as you can, avoid places in and around your home, school, and workplace where smokers might be putting you at risk.
Easier said than done right? When you’re trying to establish a career and find a partner and buy a house and maybe start a family, etc, etc. Take this time when you’re young and at your healthiest to establish ways that you can manage your stress levels now and throughout the rest of your life. You will thank yourself for it later…and so will your heart.