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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Be Your Own Valentine, Give Yourself a Healthy Heart

Heart disease. Not what you want to be thinking about this Valentine's Day, but it should be something that you are aware of. Many of us have bad habits that are slowly affecting our hearts' health. There are many factors that can contribute to heart disease, and not all of them are something that we can prevent. As we get older, our hearts age too and are not as strong as they used to be. Some may be more susceptible to heart problems because of it being prevalent in their family. The list of what we can control in order to ensure that we are doing our best to prevent heart disease is much longer, and definitely worth the effort! Here are some things that you should be doing to make sure that your heart keeps beating as strong as ever:
Regular exercise is important in maintaining a healthy heart. Exercise your heart with aerobic and cardiovascular workouts. This is also a good way to keep your weight down. Weighing more than 30% over your ideal weight greatly increases your risk of heart disease.
Watch that Blood Pressure!
High blood pressure can affect more than just your heart, and should be monitored regularly. There are lots of things that you can do to keep your blood pressure at normal levels. Keeping your weight at a healthy level and exercising is very important. Making sure that you don't have too much salt in a day can help too. Try substituting salt with other herbs so that you still get flavorful food, without the bad side effects.
Butt out!
Smoking can put a lot of strain on your heart. It has to work a lot harder to circulate oxygen and can cause high blood pressure. If you are a smoker, add this to your list of reasons to quit! Your heart will slowly start to heal itself once you quit smoking, and the sooner you start, the better.
My Cholesterol is What?
!High cholesterol levels can cause heart disease. You should get your cholesterol level checked regularly so that you can control it better. You may have to start reading the labels on foods that you buy to ensure that you are minimizing the amount of bad cholesterol in your meals.
This Valentine's Day, when your heart speeds up a bit at the thought of your loved one, remember to adopt some new habits to keep it beating that way in the years to come!

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