Your heart health matters. Most people only get one heart, and taking care of its health will ensure that it keeps pounding away for a long time to come! If you're ready to develop a healthier lifestyle that keeps your heart in mind, check out these five small changes you can make today to stay heart healthy.
- Stay active. Today's desk-driven jobs make it difficult to get the exercise you need on a regular basis, but getting your heart pounding is an important step to maintaining its overall health. Aim for at least an hour of exercise every week: 30 minutes of walking around the block will do it, but kicking up the intensity will be even better for you.
- Limit your consumption of red meat, sugar and unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fat). There are plenty of things you can eat instead, adding additional fruits and vegetables to your diet to increase your fiber consumption is a great place to start.
- Reduce your salt intake. It may be hard, at first, to imagine your favorite foods without that added coating of salt. Over time, however, you'll re-train your taste buds so they’re accustomed to a lower-sodium diet and you'll start to notice subtle flavors in your foods again.
- Stop smoking. You already know that smoking is bad for your lungs, but it puts a lot of strain on your heart as well! Once you stop smoking, your odds of developing heart disease will drop rapidly. Breaking that smoking habit has plenty of health benefits that make it worthwhile.
- Keep your weight under control. Yes, that's easier said than done! The heavier your body, the more strain you're putting on your heart. The good news is if you're following the other heart-healthy tips mentioned above, it will be easier to control your weight gain and take those extra inches off your waistline.
If you're dedicated to heart health, moderating your diet and increasing your exercise is the place to start. Before long, you'll notice that you feel much better -- and your heart will, too!
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