5 tips to keep your heart healthy

5 tips to keep your heart healthy

In the United States, heart disease kills roughly one American per minute. There are 1,440 minutes in a day and 525,600 minutes in a year.

To battle this consistent threat, Dr. Solomon Secemsky, cardiologist with Advocate Medical Group in Elgin, Ill., provides the following tips to help prevent heart disease:

1. Cleaner teeth, cleaner heart.

If you have periodontal disease, you’re almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD) compared to people without it. Brush and floss every single day and visit your dentist regularly.

2. The Mediterranean Diet can save your life.

Men who eat lean proteins and heart-healthy fats like olive oil, canola oil and nuts are less likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Eating Mediterranean will also naturally cut back your red meat and salt intake, which is a big plus as far as heart health is concerned. If you cut back on fatty meats and stick to leaner meats such as chicken, turkey and fish, you’re doing it right.

3. Focus on the relationship between exercise and cholesterol.

Regular exercise can both lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and improve good cholesterol (HDL).

4. Help your brain, help your heart.

Stress is a powerful force against a healthy heart, so give time to the things that relax you. Enjoy your hobbies, whatever they may be. And here’s a contradiction for you to think about. As far as your brain is concerned, exercise is a relaxation technique! The recommended amount is two-plus hours of moderate work per week. Before beginning a new exercise program, talk with your doctor.

5. Quit smoking.

If you’re a smoker, you’ve no doubt been bombarded by people who want you to quit. We won’t pitch quitting too hard, but we’ll just say this: smoking is the single most dangerous thing you can do to your heart. Every cigarette you cut back on matters. Eliminating one cigarette per day can make a difference. And if you want to quit, keep cutting back little by little until there’s nothing more to smoke.

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health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.