You’re now in your 40s, and you may not be keeping track of your birthdays as much as when you were younger. At this point, there’s one age-related figure you’ll want to pay attention to. Simply put, when you’re over 40, heart age might be more important than you think.
IS YOUR HEART AGE OLDER THAN YOU ARE? TIME TO MAKE SOME HEALTHY CHANGES!
WHAT IS HEART AGE?
For the more optimistic, age is just a number, right? Apparently not so when it comes to your heart health – heart age is a serious consideration, with an estimated four out of five adults at risk of early death due to unhealthy lifestyles, and those are unhealthy lifestyles they have been living for a while.
Heart age is a more straightforward way to describe your risk of developing a heart problem, which in turn lets you know if you’re in danger of a possible heart attack or stroke. A younger heart age means a lower risk of heart disease.
For those over 40, heart age tends to be higher than their actual age, especially for adults living unhealthy lifestyles. We are not talking about the issue of those living healthy lives.
Heart age can be derived from family history, diet, physical activity, habits like drinking or smoking, and of course, your actual age as well. You can try using an online Heart Age calculator to check your heart age.
MY HEART IS OLDER THAN ME
Don’t panic just yet – now that you know you’re at possible risk of heart problems later on, it’s time to do something about it. Your 40s is a great time to make changes in your life.
You’re not alone, either. In a survey taken by Public Health England, a staggering 78 percent of the two million who took the heart age test recorded a heart age higher than their actual age. Out of those, 14 percent reported heart ages an entire decade older than they are, which means they are at very high risk of developing heart problems later on.
HOW TO IMPROVE HEART HEALTH
If you think you’re at risk of heart disease, the best course of action is still to consult with your doctor. After that, it’s just a matter of turning your lifestyle around and hopefully put some years back into your heart. Especially for those over 40, having a heart age of 50 or more should really get you to consider making some significant changes before it’s too late.
If you’re still smoking, look into dropping the habit altogether. Quitters generally see their risk of heart disease drop to almost half compared to their colleagues that stick to the habit. While you’re at it, look into doing at least 150 minutes of exercise per week at the minimum. This can be something as simple as walking or light running, so long as you can fit it into your schedule.
Of course, look into cutting down on refined sugars and fats and increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables as well. As is often the case with heart health, losing a few extra pounds goes a long way in turning back the clock on your heart.
For those over 40, heart age is one of the simplest and best tools to make people aware of their heart health and drive them to make the lifestyle changes they need to make. There is still another 30 years to go until retirement. Work well, live well, exercise and enjoy the prime of your life.