Did you know that the age of your heart may not match the age of the rest of your body? Some people who take great care of their hearts have strong hearts that seem much younger than the age on their driver’s license. On the other hand, some people may still be considered young, but their hearts are old and tired. Thankfully, there are many ways to make your heart healthier and stronger. Here are some ways for you to know whether or not you have a healthy heart.
Check for Swelling in the Extremities
Swelling is one thing that you may notice before our practitioner does. You may find that the cuffs of your pants or shirts are a bit tighter or that your socks are leaving deep marks on your ankles at the end of every day. This could indicate that you have fluid building up in your extremities.
When you have a healthy heart, it pumps blood efficiently through the body, helping get rid of extra fluid from the blood. However, when your heart is weak, it may struggle to get blood through the veins and back up to your heart against the tug of gravity. Thus, blood may begin to pool in your hands or especially in your ankles. This could be a sign of congestive heart failure.
Look at Your Blood Pressure and Heart Rhythm
You can purchase a simple machine at any drugstore that will take your blood pressure and heart rate every day. By keeping an eye on your blood pressure trends, you will be able to see if your heart is becoming healthier or unhealthier. The top number of your blood pressure is called the systolic value and should ideally be 120 or less. The lower number is known as the diastolic value and indicates how much work your heart is doing when at rest. It should be less than 80. Our doctor may also take a close look at your heart rhythm during your appointment to determine if your heart is beating too quickly, too slowly or irregularly.
While there are some things that you can do to keep a healthy heart, such as eating a healthy diet of whole foods and moving frequently and regularly, you must also rely on our heart doctor at Cardiac Associates of North Jersey to help you keep a strong heart. They will be able to perform a complete heart checkup, let you know if there are any problems and educate you on what you can do to keep your heart healthy or to increase its health as you age. We are conveniently located in Oakland, NJ. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!