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How to Get you Heart back in Shape

Doing what you can now will reduce the chances of having a heart attack and increase your life which should be every ones goal.

Nourish the Body

A healthy diet can help protect the heart, improve blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. A heart-healthy eating plan includes:

  • Vegetables and fruits.
  • Beans or other legumes.
  • Lean meats and fish.
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
  • Whole grains.
  • Healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado.

Take in less of the following:

  • Salt or high-sodium meals.
  • Sugar or sweetened beverages.
  • Highly refined carbohydrates.
  • Alcohol.
  • Highly processed food, such as processed meats.
  • Saturated fat, which is found in red meat, full-fat dairy products, palm oil and coconut oil.
  • Trans fat, which is found in some fried fast food, chips and baked goods.

Keeping the Body Moving

Regular, daily physical activity can lower the risk of heart disease. Physical activity helps control your weight. It also lowers the chances of getting other conditions that may put a strain on the heart. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

If you haven’t been active for a while, you may need to slowly work your way up to these goals. But in general, you should aim for at least:
  • 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace.
  • 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running.
  • Two or more strength training sessions a week.

Even shorter bouts of activity offer heart benefits. So if you can’t meet those guidelines, don’t give up. Just five minutes of moving can help. Activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count toward your total. You don’t have to exercise hard to benefit. But you can see bigger benefits if you boost the intensity, length and frequency of your workouts

Skip the Tobacco and Booze

One of the best things you can do for your heart is to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. Even if you’re not a smoker, be sure to stay away from secondhand smoke.

Chemicals in tobacco can damage the heart and blood vessels. Cigarette smoke lowers the oxygen in the blood, which raises blood pressure and heart rate. That’s because the heart has to work harder to supply enough oxygen to the body and brain.

There’s good news though. The risk of heart disease starts to drop in as little as a day after quitting. After a year without cigarettes, the risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker. No matter how long or how much you smoked, you’ll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.

Manage Your Stress

Ongoing stress can play a role in higher blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. Some people also cope with stress in unhealthy ways. For example, they may overeat, drink or smoke. You can boost your health by finding other ways to manage stress. Healthy tactics include physical activity, relaxation exercises, mindfulness, yoga and meditation.

If you want to live long enough to enjoy your golden years you have to start doing something about it now. Many people will say that 60 yeas ago people ate much worse then we do now, but my reply would be that those people also did more physical labor then we do today.

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