Heart disease, among others, runs in my family.  I’ve had the unfortunate experience of losing a few aunts and uncles to a heart attack so, now that I am growing older, I am becoming more conscious of my health so I can live a long, happy and healthy life. If you are looking to keep your heart healthy, you can do so by taking the following 6 precautionary measures.

  1. CUT DOWN ON SALT

Too much salt causes elevated blood pressure which leads to heart attack or stroke. The recommended serving of salt per day is 2,300 mg.  The average American consumes more than 3,400 mg per day.  Just one tsp of salt contains about 2,325 mg of sodium.

  1. AVOID STRESS

Stress itself may not be directly related to bad heart health, however, it can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.   In addition, stress is likely to cause you to make bad decisions like, smoking, drinking, overeating, and physical inactivity – all of which lead to bad heart health.

  1. CUT DOWN ON SATURATED FAT

There are healthy fats and unhealthy fats.  Saturated fat is unhealthy fat.  Too much saturated fat raises the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood.  Just like good fats and bad fats, there is good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).

  1. WATCH YOUR CHOLESTEROL INTAKE

When there is too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood, it builds up in the artery walls.  This causes the blockage in the arteries disallowing the blood to carry oxygen to the heart which will result in a heart attack.

  1. REDUCE ALCOHOL

Moderate to light drinking is heard to raise good Cholesterol (HDL) and reduce effects of bad cholesterol (LDL), and prevent blood clots, however, regular to heavy drinking can cause irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

  1. DO CARDIO

Your heart is a muscle just like any other muscle in your body so, working it out only makes it stronger. Cardio gets your heart beating faster and can a help you maintain a healthy weight which lowers your risk of heart problems and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

Make sure to compare nutrition labels when grocery shopping or ordering out.  You can also use health trackers like My Fitness Pal to log your food intake and goals.  Don’t forget to get your yearly physical as well.  They’re free with insurance!  Preventative care will help you avoid future problems.  You only get one body so, take care of it!

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