There are so many myths out there about your health. You’ve heard the classic: Wait 30 minutes after eating to swim. We all know that’s not true! Did you know that there are other health myths that are just as ridiculous but are widely believed? Read these 5 heart health myths that are dangerously wrong!

Young beautiful woman doing exercises with personal trainer

Myth #1: I’m too young to have heart problems

One of the biggest heart health myths is that heart disease affects only old people. In reality, heart disease affects people of all ages. Though it favors those that are older, trends are leaning toward younger people, especially younger women! So just because you’re young, that doesn’t mean that you’re immune from heart disease. Start taking care of your heart today, even if you haven’t had any problems.

Doctor measuring blood pressure of patient

Myth #2: I would know if I had high blood pressure

“Hypertension is the silent killer, you are not going to know you have it,” says Jennifer Mieres, MD, a cardiologist at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

Hypertension is called the silent killer for a reason. High blood pressure often comes with no detectable symptoms. That’s why it is so important to get it checked regularly! You may think you’re in great health, but you could have already suffered damage from high blood pressure!

An elderly Indian man with heart problems

Myth #3: Heart attacks always feel like intense chest pain

Most people imagine a heart attack as intense sweating, pain in the left arm or hand, and sudden, excruciating chest pain. Though this is sometimes the case, often symptoms are very different, especially for women.

In a 2003 study published by Circulation, researchers found that 43% of the women felt no chest pain at the time of their heart attack presentation.

Senior woman and doctor

Myth #4: Women don’t get heart disease

Many US adults associate heart disease with old men! Though older males are often affected by heart problem, they’re not the dominant group! Did you know that more women than men have heart disease ages 80 and older?

Many women think that breast cancer is their biggest threat, but it’s not! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women! That might come as a surprise to you.

“The number one killer of women is not breast cancer or uterine cancer; the number one killer of women is heart disease,” said Dr. Ileana L. Piña, a cardiologist. “And until we pay attention to this, these kinds of figures are going to keep coming up.”

Senior couple running

Myth #5: I can’t exercise if I have heart disease

Many people think that if they have heart disease it is dangerous to exercise! That couldn’t be further from the truth! The best thing that you can do for your heart is exercise. You don’t have to strap on your sweats and head to the gym, though. You can start by simply moving around each day!

Consider using some sort of pedometer and heart rate monitor to track your movement throughout the day and set goals! You’ll be surprised at how much exercise you can get just by walking around for a few minutes a few times a day! When you feel comfortable, you can try more intense cardio exercises like running, cycling, or swimming.