Your vital organs are something you likely don't think about much. After eating breakfast, you probably aren't thinking about all that is involved inside your body to digest the food. While walking around the neighborhood, you likely aren't thinking about all of the processes involved in your movement, breathing, and more. While you have a variety of vital organs providing essential life functions, the heart is perhaps the most important. That is why maintaining good heart health and protecting one's heart is so important. And it is never too early to start practicing good habits for protecting your heart.
An excellent article from well+good addresses the importance of heart health and includes six tips for taking care of your heart health from Jenn Haythe, MD, a cardiologist from Columbia University.
Find a Way to Move More: We know that a sedentary lifestyle, including sitting for long periods of time, has a negative impact on overall cardiovascular health. While movement can look different from person to person when factoring in where you live, whether you have a disability, access to a place to safely walk, and more, it is important to move more. Consider your individual situation and determine a safe way, while factoring in your own individual variables, to add more movement into your daily routine.
Manage Stress: Let's face it - life can be downright stressful. And stress can be difficult to control and avoid. You're not alone in battling stress, and it is important to acknowledge your feelings of stress as opposed to avoiding them. The good news is that there are ways to help manage your stress. Find something that works for you, such as meditation, journaling, or deep breathing.
Take Care of Your Mental Health: If you are still struggling with feelings of stress, and they are having a negative impact on your mood, consider reaching out to a professional who can help. There are a variety of treatments available including therapy, medication, and more.
Take Your Sleep Seriously: Sleep is one of the most crucial things for overall health, including heart health. Adults should aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Making sleep quality and duration a priority can go a long way in protecting your heart long-term.
Try to Quit Smoking: Smoking and vaping are known to have significant negative effects on your heart health, and quitting is an important step in your heart health journey.
Don't Wait to Address Health Concerns: Unfortunately, not everyone has the same access and resources to get adequate healthcare. That said, if you have a health concern, try to address it with a doctor as early as possible. For example, treating high blood pressure early in life can have a huge positive impact on one's overall heart health. Don't wait until a problem becomes very serious - be proactive as much as possible.