5 Heart Health Myths

Feb. 8, 2024

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Taking care of your heart is important for your entire body. You have to have a healthy heart to have a healthy life. 

Porcha Anderson, a registered nurse and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina health coach, examines some common misconceptions about heart health. 

Myth: You only have to eat healthy and exercise for a healthy heart. 

There are a lot of factors that contribute to your heart health. Medications can affect your heart. And other substances like smoking and alcohol can also have a negative impact on your heart. Clocking enough sleep* can also be important for your overall health. 

Myth: You only have to worry about your physical health to have good heart health. 

Some common mental health disorders can increase risk factors* for heart disease. These include mood disorders, anxiety and stress. 

Everyone experiences stress*. Managing stress is important for your health. Addressing mental health concerns early can reduce the risk* of experiencing a heart disease event, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Myth: Only older people need to be concerned about heart health. 

One of the biggest misconceptions is that only elderly people need to worry about heart disease. Anderson recommends parents of teenagers and young adults should encourage heart healthy habits. The American Heart Association recommends people begin getting heart screenings* at age 20.

Cardiovascular disease develops throughout your life. Taking care of yourself when you are younger will be helpful as you age

Knowing your family history is important as well, Anderson says. This will help you create a healthy lifestyle plan for yourself. 

Myth: If you’re on medications for high blood pressure or cholesterol, you can eat whatever you want. 

People often think that medications for cardiovascular disorders like high blood pressure or high cholesterol means they can eat any foods they want. You need to make sure you are eating healthy foods and making necessary lifestyle changes, Anderson says. 

“This ensures that the medication can work and the disease won’t worsen,” she says. 

Myth: Only young people can make lifestyle changes. 

It is never too late to build healthy habits*. Changing your eating habits or exercise routine can be done at any age. It just takes one small step. 

*These links lead to third-party sites. Those organizations are solely responsible for the contents and privacy policies on their sites. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is an independent organization that offers health information you may find helpful. 

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