I have a long family history of cardiac problems including a number of relatives who have died from heart disease
. If people in your family have heart disease, you should be concious of your own heart health. Here are some things that have helped me:
- Learn about good cholesterol
vs bad cholesterol and understand what a low fat diet is. At your age, you don't have to stick to it strictly, but if you're aware of the value of good nutrition, you'll think about it when you're choosing something to eat.
- Exercise now, while you're younger. Build up a good aerobic routine to make your heart and lungs strong. Anything you do now will benefit you greatly as you age. A strong heart and low blood pressure at an early age will help to prevent the buildup of plaques in your arteries (which is what causes blockages and heart attacks).
- Don't smoke. That's self explanatory.
- Once you reach your 20's, start going to the doctors. Have your blood tested for fats and cholesterol. You don't have to go every year, but don't ignore the fact that you have a family history. Prevention will make all of the difference.
- Don't start taking asprins unless a doctor tells you to. They can cause stomach problems, and you probably don't need to do that now.
Above all, don't let this occupy too much of your thoughts. Learn what you can about eating well. Exercise. But, don't live your life in fear of heart disease. Keep your head about you, but enjoy your life! Laugh and have fun. Stress
is bad for your health in many ways.