Helping Your Heart

Taking A Proactive Approach for your Hearts Health

It is never too early or too late to maximize the benefits that come from being proactive about your health.  Once you choose to take control of your health, you may develop a stronger immune system, experience increased energy, enjoy sounder sleep, notice clearer skin and more.  If taking a proactive approach is new or seems difficult for you to begin, use the following tips as your introduction.  

A good place to begin is with your heart.  A proactive focus on your heart health will benefit the entire body as the heart is the center of the cardiovascular system.  The heart is the one organ constantly working for you, circulating blood throughout your body and keeping all the organs working properly.  If that is not enough incentive for you, contemplate this; according to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women.  Approximately 1 in every 4 deaths in America is heart related. Futher, according to Cardiologist Dr, Samantha Avery, women die more often from heart disease than all the cancers combined.

Taking a preventative approach starting now can reduce your risk of heart related illness.

One of the more high-risk factors contributing to heart disease is the use of tobacco products, including smoking cigarettes and the newly popular trend, vaping.  Start being proactive by giving up the use of these products.  The risk for heart disease decreases soon after quitting.  According to the Mayo Clinic (, the risk for coronary heart disease is significantly reduced one year after you have quit.  It is not an easy task to stop, but there are great support systems available including Smokers Anonymous (800-784-8669), The Freedom From Smoking Program( and there are community support groups you can find through your local library, hospital or community center.

Exercise is an excellent and fun way to be proactive about your heart health.  Exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as reduce your chances of developing other illnesses including diabetes, depression and high blood pressure.  Making the time to be active will also help you maintain a healthy weight which in turn helps the heart function optimally.  If you do not know where to begin, start with a 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week.  When it comes to living a healthier lifestyle remember this, any movement is better than no movement. Your heart health also benefits from physical activities that you enjoy such as swimming, bowling, dancing, gardening or bike-riding.  Free classes such as yoga, low impact strength training and even zumba are sometimes offered at your local community center and library.  Fitness can be fun and functional even if you are just beginning.  Find a buddy to start moving with and reap the health rewards together.  

There are many foods you can eat that will help in reducing your risk for heart disease.  These are also the foods that will contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle.  Most experts agree that eating more vegetables and fruits is a good start in taking a proactive approach about your heart health.  Eating more lean protein such as eggs, beans, chicken and turkey, as well as adding in some fish like salmon and tuna, may contribute to lowering your risk of heart disease.  Foods to limit include trans-fat, sugar and highly processed foods.

Something you may not hear mentioned often about heart health is ensuring you stay hydrated.  Drinking plenty of water daily is truly vital for your health as it flushes bacteria, aids in digestion, regulates the body temperature and more.  According to the Harvard Medical School ( staying properly hydrated also assists with normalizing blood pressure and stabilizing the heartbeat. On the other hand dehydration can lead to dry skin, dizziness, fatigue, rapid heartbeat and can affect the way your organs are functioning.  Eat better and drink plenty of water to stay proactive about your health!

Always consult with your doctor before changing your diet, starting a new fitness regimen or if you have any concerns regarding your health. Remember, it is your right to get second and third opinions if you are not happy with the first.

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