You’re never too young or too old to protect your heart, doctors say

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As a symbol, the heart is associated with love. As an organ, it’s associated with life. More than 8% of adults over 35 years old in Massachusetts have heart disease.

People told 22News they’re trying not to be part of that statistic. Josh Levy of Northampton said, “My dad always told me that moderation is the key to everything. So I try to eat moderately. I don’t eat too many fatty food or sugar. I try to eat a lot of greens and whole foods. I try to move my body and walk as much as possible.”

It sounds cliché, but that’s because it’s true. The basics of heart health begin with two things. First, eating as healthy as possible. Second, exercise. Don’t give up on that New Year’s resolutions. Doctors say you should get 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.

If you can’t get to the gym, don’t worry. Just being active can lower risk factors like blood sugar, pressure, and cholesterol. Doctor Heba Wessif of Northampton Cardiology told 22News medicine has come a long way.

“The procedures have improved quite a bit over the last 20 years,” said Dr. Wessif. “We have medications that can work on conditions that we didn’t have years ago, but we need to also work on prevention. Preventing it from happening.”

Dr. Wessif said 80% of risk factors can be improved by changing your lifestyle. The one thing you can’t change is your genetics. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, consult your doctor.

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