The American Heart Association has, for the first time, identified seven health factors and lifestyle behaviors its research indicates are necessary to keep your heart in good shape.
The AHA says ideal cardiovascular health for adults is defined by these health measures:
1. Never smoked or quit more than a year ago
2. A healthy body mass index (BMI)
3. Physical activity, and the more the better
4. Blood pressure below 120/80.
5. Fasting blood glucose less than 100 milligrams/deciliter
6. Total cholesterol of less than 200 milligrams/deciliter
7. Eating a healthy diet
The AHA hopes the seven factors could improve the cardiovascular health of Americans by 20 percent by the year 2020, and also reduce deaths from cardiovascular-related diseases and strokes by 20 percent.