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Six Ways to Love Your Heart
The health of your heart is something everyone should be concerned with. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. Fortunately, you have the power to control many of the top risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. Here are six simple ways you can show this workhorse organ a little extra love and minimize your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
1. Butt Out
If you smoke or use other tobacco products, it’s time to kick the habit to the curb. Smoking cigarettes is linked to a number of chronic diseases and potentially fatal problems like cancer, heart disease
2. Take it Easy
Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular events such as heart attack. Learn to manage your stress and cope with emotions such as anger or anxiety in positive ways. Stress-reducing activities could include participating in regular physical activity, meditation or prayer, speaking with a qualified mental health provider or connecting with others through community or religious support systems.
3. Hit Snooze
Getting the right amount of sleep each night is critical to feeling your best and protecting your health. Studies show that on average people are getting only 6.5 hours of sleep each night. Furthermore, research is revealing links between sleep deprivation and hypertension, coronary heart disease and diabetes.
4. Take a Stand
Studies suggest that sitting for too long is bad for you no matter how much exercise you do. Sitting for too long can increase your risk of developing blood clots among other adverse effects like poor posture, pain, and lower energy. If you have a sedentary job or sit for long periods, set an alarm or reminder to stand and move around at least once every hour.
5. Go Nuts
Instead of reaching for crackers or chips, grab a handful of nuts. Walnuts, peanuts and almonds are good for your heart and will satisfy your craving for a crunchy snack.
6. Give Thanks
A positive attitude and daily gratitude are good for your soul as well as your heart. Expressing gratitude daily can ward off stress, anxiety and high levels of inflammation which in turn may lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.