5 Smart Ways to Protect Your Heart

It's the only heart you have, so protect it with these lifestyle choices.

Living heart healthy is easier than you think. Follow our five simple suggestions and you will be on your way to strengthening and protecting your heart.

1. Move that body.
The benefits of exercise on heart health are two-fold. First, exercise is just good for your heart. Exercise lowers cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the heart. Secondly, exercise aids in weight-loss. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

2. Drop the pounds.
As mentioned before, losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is great for heart health. Maintaining a healthy weight protects against coronary heart disease and prevents high blood pressure. Optimum weight can be achieved with exercise and a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean meat and whole grains.

3. Skip the salt.
Too much sodium consumption can increase your blood pressure, which in turn can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, the average American consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium each day, well above the recommended maximum of 2,300. Lower your high blood pressure risk by avoiding processed foods, canned vegetables, frozen meals and luncheon meats.

4. Don't smoke.
Smoking has many terrible side-effects. It is one of the most significant risks factors for developing heart disease. Nicotine makes your heart work harder while other chemicals in tobacco damage the heart and narrow the vessels.

5. Visit the doctor.
High blood pressure can damage blood vessel and contribute to heart disease. However, most people with high blood pressure don't know they have the condition. This is why it is important to get routine screenings and stay up-to-date on your health.

The Heart Institute at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is slated to host a lecture entitled "Heart Disease in Women" on Wednesday, July 17. Presented by Dr.V. Antoine Keller, the lecture will allow the attendees to become familiar with the incidence of heart disease in women and recognize the risk factors. For more information and for reservations call (727)-869-5498 or 1-888-741-5119 or email susan.cooper@hcahealthcare.com.

Related Posts:
5 Goals for Heart Healthy Eating
Strategies for Preventing Heart Disease at Any Age

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