When it comes to heart health, it's important to know the facts. That includes facts about heart disease and facts about yourself and your lifestyle. Read on to learn five common misconceptions and the truth behind the myth.
I'm too young to worry about heart disease.
You're never too young to lead a healthy lifestyle and take steps to prevent cardiovascular disease. As early as childhood, plaque can begin accumulating in your arteries and later lead to clogged arteries. One in three Americans has cardiovascular disease – and they're not all senior citizens.
Heart disease runs in my family so there is nothing I can do to prevent it.
It's true that people with a family history of heart disease are at higher risk, but there is still plenty you can do to reduce that risk. This includes regular exercise, a healthy diet, managing blood pressure and cholesterol, and stopping smoking.
There would be warning signs for high blood pressure, so I would know I have it.
High blood pressure or hypertension is called the "silent killer" because most people don't know they have it. The truth is that high blood pressure is largely a symptomless condition. Everybody needs to know their blood pressure numbers, and everyone needs to prevent high blood pressure from developing.
Heart disease is really a man's problem.
Truth is, since 1984 more women than men have died each year from heart disease. Heart disease is the Number One killer of American women. Some people may think that cancer is the leading cause of death in women, but while one in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, heart disease claims the lives of one in three women.
Don't fall prey to any of these myths when it comes to your heart health. And if you think you don't need to exercise – think again. Exercise greatly reduces your risk of heart disease, can lower blood pressure, help you stay at a healthy weight and make your heart muscle stronger. Just be sure to check with your doctor before starting a program of exercise.
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