Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death in the United States, tallying in with about 610,000 deaths per year. This number is quite alarming. Heart disease can be caused by narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. There are many risk factors that can onset heart disease. High blood pressure, poor diet, poor exercise, obesity, alcohol use, smoking, and family history are just some of the few factors that can contribute to heart disease. As college students, prevention is the first step to eliminate the risk of us obtaining heart disease in the future. Here are some heart healthy tips you can follow!
- Manage stress! Stress puts a lot of strain on your heart, and makes it work over time. Make sure you are limiting the amount of stress in your life because it also is affecting your heart! Try meditation or yoga to help lower your stress levels.
- Get moving! Exercise is extremely important to keeping your heart healthy. For college students, getting an average 30 minutes of exercise per day is important to your health.
- Eat Right! Choosing healthy food options is crucial for your heart health. Fatty and greasy foods may be easier to obtain, but are also posing the most risk on your heart. Maintaining a healthy weight is also crucial on preventing heart disease.
- Limit/Quit Smoking! Cigarette smoking increases your risk of heart disease. It increases your blood pressure and increases your chances of having a blood clot. This can ultimately lead to a heart attack/heart disease, so be mindful of these when you choose to smoke!
Lowering your risk of heart disease is extremely important in young people especially. Make sure you are taking care of your body every day to keep your heart healthy and happy!
Written by Claudia Miriello, Peer Educator