How can you reduce your risk?
Juggling school, career, marriage and parenting can make taking care of yourself an item that’s moved to the bottom of your to-do list. But it’s crucial you make time to do the things that will have a big impact on your health later in life.
“If you’re able to reach middle age with low cholesterol, ideal blood pressure, an optimal weight, not smoking and not diabetic, you’ll be less likely to ever develop these conditions we’re talking about,” Michos says. “Whether you live free of chronic diseases after the age of 50 really depends on the actions you take now.”
Create a healthier future for yourself with these seven recommendations from the American Heart Association:
- Keep your blood pressure in check.
- Control your cholesterol.
- Reduce your blood sugar.
- Increase your daily activity.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Stay within a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking.
Michos also recommends using a food diary to track calories, a pedometer to measure your activity level and regular medical exams. She reminds us that caring for ourselves has a ripple effect. “When you take steps to shop for and cook healthier meals, and to fit in daily exercise, you influence your family and friends for the better, too.”