As a young person, if you start doing small things every day that keep your body healthy, you have a better chance of living a longer, happier and healthier life.
The things that you do to keep your heart healthy will also make you less likely to develop many other types of diseases, like type 2 diabetes and cancer.” These small steps are not expensive or difficult to take, and taking them can go a long way toward helping you feel your best.
Make small choices every day to keep your heart healthy
You make many choices every day, like what color socks to wear or how to fix your hair. When it comes to making decisions that keep you healthy, it may seem difficult to choose better options when so many things seem easier or just more fun. You just need to take small steps in a healthy direction and that begins by knowing the healthy choices! Then it gets easier to make choices every day that help keep you healthy.
How do I know if my heart is healthy?Find out if your heart is healthy using Life’s Simple 7™. They are:
- Avoid smoking and using tobacco products.
- Be physically active every day.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Keep a healthy weight.
- Keep your blood pressure healthy.
- Keep your total cholesterol healthy.
- Keep your blood sugar healthy.
The Life’s Simple 7 series describes things you can do on your own to keep your heart healthy and some things that may require the help of a health professional.
Are you ready? Let’s start off by learning about heart disease and stroke.
What is heart disease?Heart disease is also known as cardiovascular disease or “CVD.” CVD is a very serious health condition that keeps the heart or blood vessels from working properly. When our heart and blood vessels are working at their best, blood flows easily and is circulated around the body freely.
If there is a clog in our blood vessels or if our heart is not pumping blood properly, this prevents blood from being delivered to many important parts of our body. Not having blood constantly delivered to the many important parts of our body can cause serious illness or even death.
Although some people are born with certain types of CVD, most people develop CVD as a result of poor lifestyle habits, such as eating unhealthy foods, not getting enough exercise or using tobacco.
What is a Stroke?A stroke happens when a blood vessel that carries oxygen to the brain gets blocked or bursts. When that happens, blood can’t deliver oxygen to part of the brain and the brain starts to die.
Without the right medical attention, a stroke can cause major damage to the brain. People who have a stroke may have problems speaking, seeing or moving normally for a short time or for the rest of their lives. The person can even die from a stroke.
People most likely to have a stroke are older adults, don’t eat a healthy diet, are not regularly physically active, are overweight or obese, or have other medical problems that may lead to heart disease, but people can have a stroke at any age. If you think you or a loved one may be having a stroke, it’s important to call 9-1-1 and get help right away.
Following Life’s Simple 7 can help you live a life free of CVD!Making small changes in your life can add up to a big difference in your heart health, even for children and teenagers!
To get started on your heart healthy lifestyle, think about the following questions:
- Do you have a family history of heart disease? Talk to your mom, dad or guardian to find out more.
- What are three things you’re doing to live a healthy life free of heart disease and stroke?
Last reviewed 8/2014