and reduce your risk of heart disease.
There are aspects of heart health that you can’t control, like age, sex, race or ethnicity. Genetics or family history can also play a part. But there are many things you can do, either daily or over time, to keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease as you age.
“There are several things people can do regularly to help their heart to work more efficiently and improve overall heart health,” says Emad Dean Nukta, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic cardiovascular specialist at the West Valley Medical Building in Fairview Park.
Dr. Nukta and other heart health experts recommend the following: Get enough sleep-7 to 8 hours per night, avoid secondhand smoke. If you smoke, quit, stay active, and don’t sit too long at one time, practice good dental hygiene and floss your teeth daily, eat healthy fats (no trans fats)
“Some of these things are simple to do, others require a bit more effort, especially diet and exercise,” says Dr. Nukta. When it comes to eating healthy, Dr. Nukta suggests avoiding packaged and fast foods, and limiting items high in saturated fat, salt, and refined sugar. Instead, try to eat more heart-healthy foods-aim for 5 to 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. “Daily exercise is also important for better heart health. Regular exercise can help manage weight, blood pressure and stress,” says Dr. Nukta.
And no matter how much you exercise, it is never a good thing to stay seated for long periods of time. Recent observational studies of nearly 800,000 people showed that those who sat the most had a 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events. “If you have a desk job, or find yourself sitting much of the time, make a conscious effort to move throughout the day by taking several short walks or parking farther away,” says Dr. Nukta.
Source: The Chronicle-Telegram February 5th 2017 Elyria, Ohio
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