Tips Toward a Healthy Heart

Tips Toward a Healthy Heart

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There’s no time like the present to take your health into your own hands, and spring is the perfect season to take that to heart — literally! Take strides to decrease your risk of heart attack by following some of these pointers.

  1. Lower your cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatlike substance that can cause serious health problems and increase the risk of heart disease. We need some cholesterol, but LDL is the “bad” kind. Eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise to reduce the LDL number.
  2. Lower your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause heart disease, kidney disease, strokes and congestive heart failure. At least 72 million Americans are believed to have high blood pressure, and the risk increases with age.
    • Exercise regularly and try to lose weight if you are overweight.
    • Manage stress.
    • Limit alcohol and don’t smoke!
    • Adopt the “DASH’’ diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) that is heavy on healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.
  3. Eat right. A nutritious diet is one of the best things you can give your heart. Pay attention to the labels on products: Choose foods that are low in sodium, cholesterol and saturated fat.
    • Avoid trans fat. Stay away from products listing “hydrogenated oil” as an ingredient.
    • Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods often.
    • Eat fruits and vegetables daily.
  4. Exercise! Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity every day. Physical activity benefits your heart, strengthens your lungs, builds muscle, slows bone loss and can delay age-related health issues. At least twice a week, do activities involving weights, even light hand weights, which can help strengthen your bones. Incorporate exercises involving balance and flexibility like yoga or Tai Chi. Of course, consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

Important Sam’s Club Disclaimer: All content, including but not limited to, recipe and health information provided is for educational purposes only. Such content is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a medical professional. Such content does not cover all possible side effects of any new or different health program. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program. Advance consultation with your physician is particularly important if you are under eighteen (18) years old, pregnant, nursing or have health problems.

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