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Keeping Your Heart Healthy

Are you at risk for heart disease? You may be and not even realize it; heart disease is one of the leading causes of death of American women. For yourself and your loved ones take a couple of much needed steps to help protect yourself. 

To help keep your heart healthy, make some changes in your lifestyle. Exercise and eating healthy are two ways to help keep your heart and body healthy. Before you start to exercise or change your diet talk to your health care provider. He or she can help you plan how to exercise and some food recommendation to follow on a daily bases.

Eating Healthy:

  • 2 to 4 servings of fruits and 3 to 5 vegetables a day
  • 6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta a day
  • 2 to 3 servings of low-fat or fat free milk, yogurt and cheese a day
  • 2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, egg whites or nuts a day
  • Lots of fiber

Foods to avoid:

  • Saturated fats, which include animal fats, hydrogenated vegetable fats and tropical fats. A high-fat diet increases your risk of heart disease.
  • Sodium often found in table salt and some foods. These often increase blood pressure in some people. Avoid cooking with salt and prepared foods that are high in sodium and add salt sparingly or not at all.

If overweight, try to lose weight:
Many Americans are carrying too much weight, which increases your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and many more ailments. A diet high in fiber, low in fat and regular exercise can help you lose weight gradually and help keep it off.

Exercise and Fitness
Exercise can help prevent many heart related illnesses. You will feel better and keep your weight under control with regular exercise. Try 30 to 60 minutes, 4 to 6 times a week, but any amount is better than none. Your heart works best with routine exercise so choose an aerobic activity such as the following: 

  • Swimming
  • Walking
  • Climbing Stairs
  • Bicycling
  • Dancing
  • Start slow, gradually work your way up and keep with it.
  • Start with 5 to 10 minutes of daily exercising.
  • Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes a day, 4 to 6 days a week. You do not have to do it all in one session reach your goal by being active for 10 minutes 3 times a day.
  • Schedule an exercise session in advance and write it on your calendar.
  • Stop and call your doctor right away if you experience any chest pain while exercising.

If you smoke, you need to quit. Smoking increasing your risk for a heart attack. Your heart gets less oxygen and plaque builds up in your vessels faster.

Keeping your cholesterol levels down by eating right. Reduce how much fat you consume and exercise.

Control your blood pressure by losing weight, exercising, eating less sodium, drinking less alcohol, do not smoke and take any prescription medication prescribed by your primary care physician. 

If you have a family history of heart disease all these recommendation apply even more to you than to others. Youre more at risk of developing heart disease, such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure. It is imperative that you should eat a balance diet, maintain a reasonable body weight and stay at least moderately physical active.

Important tips to remember:

  • Less Fat
  • Avoiding fatty cuts of meat, high fat dairy products like cheese, ice cream and whole milk. 
  • Less Salt
  • Avoid adding salt while cooking and keep the shaker put away. Season your foods with other season instead of salt.
  • More Fiber
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. Add oats, whole grain rice and bran to your diet. Eat more beans; theyre a good source of fiber.

Exercise to reduce the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes

Keep healthy and keep on living!!

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