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How to Improve Your Heart Health: Take Care of Your Ticker by Following These Simple Steps

Sep. 19 2023, Published 4:24 p.m. ET

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There are a number of ways to improve your heart health. You can help take care of your ticker by following these five steps.

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Eat smart.

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Diet is one of the keys to keeping your heart in tip-top shape. According to the American Heart Association, that means “emphasizing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and liquid, non-tropical plant oils.” It's also important to avoid salt, processed foods and alcohol.

Get moving.

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Sitting isn't a good idea. so experts at UC Davis Health say, “Move your body. Exercise is shown to lower blood pressure, and prove cholesterol, control weight, boost your energy and improve stress” — all good for heart health. Aim for 30 minutes a day. If you need a reminder to get in gear, a smartwatch that buzzes when you’ve been sitting still too long can help.

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Sleep on it.

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No matter your age or health habits, the folks at the Mayo Clinic caution: “People who don't get enough sleep have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and depression.” Aim for 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye a night.

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Brush up.

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For better heart health, “practice good dental hygiene, especially flossing your teeth daily,” says the Cleveland Clinic. “Dental health is a good indicator of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease.”

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Count blessings.

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Per Harvard Medical School: “Taking a moment each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.


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