4 Simple And Easy Ways To Keep Your Heart Healthy

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Heart disease and strokes may just be a leading cause of death for both men and women, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do something about it. While you can’t do much to change genetic factors — like age, sex or family medical history — there are some key steps you can take to reduce your risk.

1/ Get Moving

Getting regular daily exercise can do a lot for your over-all heart health. Physical activity helps keep your weight in-check and can reduce your chances of developing other chronic health conditions (like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes), which can put strain on your heart.

So how much exercise should you be doing? Doctors recommend that you do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.

READ MORE: 7 Serious Stroke Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

2/ Eat A Healthy Diet

Ditch the salt and sugars! Loading up on all the good stuff like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins and whole grains can help protect your heart.

You should also watch your fats (try to limit or avoid saturated fat and trans fat).

Good news: Not all fats are ‘bad’. In fact, heart-healthy fats like — avocado, nuts, olives, and olive oil — can help lower the bad type of cholesterol.

3/ Ditch The Cigarettes

Smoking ups your risk of heart disease dramatically. The chemicals lurking in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries due to plaque buildup (atherosclerosis). This process can ultimately lead to a heart attack and death.

And FYI — women who smoke and take birth control pills are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke, because both can increase the risk of blood clots. Yikes!

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Your risk of heart disease significantly reduces one year after quitting smoking.

READ MORE: “I Felt Completely Normal But My Blood Pressure Was Through The Roof”

4/ Get Your Cholesterol Checked

An annual cholesterol screening test is super important, especially if you’re over 35. Discuss the results with a trained medical professional who will consider your results in combination with other risk factors. Having consistently high blood pressure, regardless of whether it’s caused by lifestyle or familial factors, will definitely increase your heart disease risk.

This September Mediclinic will be hosting free blood pressure and cholesterol tests at participating Mediclinic hospitals — so get yourself tested (no excuses).

READ MORE ON: Health Health Advice Heart Health Sponsored