Like I said – it’s love and romance month on the show. And you can’t have either without one very important thing – your HEART. So how do you take care of it? Well, depending on your age, there are certain precautions you need to take for maximum benefit. Here’s the scoop from Real Simple magazine.
- In your 20’s and 30’s. Push yourself at the gym. Todd Galati is a personal trainer and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. And he says regular exercise helps counter the loss of muscle mass, which occurs at the rate of half a pound her year once you hit 25. And less muscle mass means more fat – which is hard on the heart. Also, keep an eye on the scale. After age 30, Americans often gain a pound a year. Also, you want to do your best to manage stress. The demand of family, work and a booming social life make you vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
- In your 40’s. Find a medical ally. Many people in their 40’s don’t have a primary care-giver. Now’s the time to find someone you like who can take care of your general health. They can identify factors that might be raising your heart-disease risk. Also, watch your middle. Dr. Sharonne Hayes is the director of the Heart Clinic at the Mayo Clinic. And she says that pudge you get around your waist in your 40’s increases your risk of heart disease. This layer of fat inside the abdominal wall spikes blood pressure and cholesterol. All it takes is a little strength training to keep it off.
- To take care of your heart in your 50’s. GET MOVING. People at this age usually become less active. And it’s an especially risky time for women because of menopause – which depletes estrogen levels, causing blood vessels to become less flexible. But exercise can counteract this. Also, not to scare you, but you need to know the signs of a heart attack. In addition to pain in the chest which radiates through the neck and arms, you may feel severe indigestion, sweating, nausea, upper back pain, shoulder pain and severe fatigue. If you experience ant of these, head to the ER.