Someone in the prime of their life -- a professional sports star, teen athlete, marathon runner, or other seemingly healthy person -- isn't supposed to collapse and die from heart disease. But it occasionally happens, making sudden cardiac arrest front-page news.
The rare nature of sudden cardiac arrest among the young is precisely what makes it so attention-grabbing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, sudden cardiac death kills 1 in 100,000 to 1 in 300,000 athletes under age 35, more often males...
2.Work on your weight. Many Americans are overweight. Bringing your weight to a healthy level is a plus for your heart.
3. Upgrade your next meal. Favor fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Pass on foods that are salty, high in unhealthy fats, or fried. Repeat for the meal after that, and so on, until it's routine.
4. Make an exercise menu. For your heart's sake, you should make it a habit to be active, so pick a couple of activities that sound like fun. That way, you always have some choices about what to do when you exercise at least three to four times a week for 30 minutes at a time. It burns calories and helps keep extra pounds off.
5. Rethink your drink. Limit alcohol. Moderate drinking may be OK, but more than that is bad for you. What's moderate drinking? Up to 1 glass a day for women, and up to 2 glasses a day for men.
6. Check your numbers. Many people have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or blood sugar levels that are too high, and they don't know it. Your doctor can check all of these things and, if any of your numbers are too high, recommend a plan of action.
And, finally, don't forget to consult your doctor. Your doctor can help you focus on developing healthy habits like the ones above. Your doctor can also help you figure out if your family's medical history puts you at risk and know if there's anything else you should be doing.