Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

on October 27, 2011

 

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States so we should all be concerned about our heart health.  Prevention is the key, here are some tips to help reduce your risk.

> Convince your spouse/partner to quit smoking.  Non-smoking partners face a 92% increase in their chances of heart attack than those who live with non-smokers.  Breathing secondhand smoke boosts LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, decreases HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and increases your blood’s tendency to clot.

> Walk, run, lift weights or some other form of exercise for 30 minutes a day/4 days a week.  People who do this have a 60% less chance of having a heart attack than their non-exercising counterparts. 

>Lose 10-20 pounds.  If you are overweight, losing 10-20 pounds could reduce your risk of heart attack by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

> Drink 5 glasses of water a day. Men who drank that many 8-ounce glasses were 54 percent less likely to have a fatal heart attack than those who drank two or fewer. Researchers say the water dilutes the blood, making it less likely to clot.

 
> Eat fish at least twice a week. eating fish at least twice a week can lower your heart-disease risk by more than 30 percent. The magic ingredient is the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Good choices?  Salmon, tuna, and sardines.

>Ask your doctor about Vitamin E and Aspirin. Men who took the antioxidant and the blood thinner daily cut the plaque in their clogged arteries by more than 80 percent, according to a recent study.

>Eat watermelon. It contains about 40 percent more lycopene than is found in raw tomatoes, and a new study by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service shows that your body absorbs it at higher levels due to the melon’s high water content. Half a wedge may boost heart-disease prevention by 30 percent.

>Count to 10. Creating a 10-second buffer before reacting to a stressful situation may be enough to cool you down. Men who respond to stress with anger are three times more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease and five times more likely to have a heart attack before turning 55, say researchers at Johns Hopkins University

 Thanks to Men’s Health for these tips- but they aren’t just for men.  More women die from heart disease than all cancers combined so we need to develop some heart healthy habits as well. 

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