As someone with a heart age younger than your biological age, you are among the rare minority. You clearly make your health a priority, which is evident in both your heart age and cardiovascular risk.
The next challenge is maintaining your heart age. Keep doing what you have been doing—don’t smoke, eat healthy to keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol in check, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, etc.
But even if you do all the right things, your risk is still not zero. Having the option to monitor your heart enables you to detect changes in your heart health early.
Having a heart the same age as your biological age is no easy feat. Why not try making your heart younger than you? If you are not sure what is good for your body, please check with your doctor before making any changes.
Change doesn’t have to be big—try making a small adjustment to your daily routine. If you walk, try adding 10 extra minutes to your daily routine, or if you don’t have the time to spare, increase the intensity of your walks. Or aim to improve your HDL (“good cholesterol”) by limiting your trans-fat (common in processed foods, fast food, margarine, etc.) and alcohol intake or performing regular exercise7. Try adjusting your input in the Heart Age Calculator to see for yourself how a little bit really does go a long way. Or take the next step and monitor your heart with regular heart checks.
Not the result you were hoping for? There are many things you can do to lower your heart age and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The obvious recommendation is to make changes to positively impact your heart health. Consider this: Martha is a 55-year old smoker with a normal BMI, normal blood pressure and no diabetes. She has a heart age much older than she is (72) with an 11.2% 10-year cardiovascular disease risk. If Martha quits smoking, her heart age is now equal to her actual age (54) and she has a 5.3% 10-year cardiovascular disease risk—instead of a 1 in 10 chance of developing cardiovascular disease (e.g. a heart attack or stroke), her chances have now dropped to 1 in 20.
But we all know how hard it can be to make these changes.
It is important to regularly check your heart, which becomes even more critical when your heart age and cardiovascular risk are high. Yearly check-ups with your doctor are a good place to start, but there is more that you can do between visits. Take your heart health in your own hands.