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5 Ways to Improve Your Heart Health

Learn five ways to improve your heart health from Dr. Dennis Finkielstein in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So, what are the top five ways we can prevent heart disease? Well, there's lot's of ways to prevent heart disease and that's the good news.If we want to just hit some of the main ways, we can can talk about five great starting points.

One would be to increase the amount of cardiovascular exercise we do. If you're like most of us, we don't do enough of exercise in our daily life and doctors recommend five to seven days of exercise where we do half an hour a day and get our heart rates elevated. It doesn't really matter what type of exercise, so you could do what exercise is best for you. As long as you're getting your heart rate up and getting a little sweat going, you'll be sure to be improving your heart health.

A second way we can improve our heart health would be to improve our diets. Most of us don't have the most heart-healthy diet and some basic things that we can do would be to make our diets more Mediterranean. That would be to eat more fresh fruit, vegetables, white meat, fish, and to reduce the intake of processed or packaged foods. Another area to avoid would be what I call the three F's; no fried food, no fatty food, no fast food. If we do that and don't drink our calories, we've come a long way to make our diet more heart-healthy.

A third way to improve your heart health would be to see your doctor regularly. He or she can go over with you some of the lifestyle modifications we can make to improve overall heart health. They will also check your blood pressure and measure your cholesterol and treat those if necessary.

That leads us to our fourth point, taking your medications regularly. Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce your blood pressure or lower your cholesterol and taken regularly, those can dramatically improve your heart health.

A fifth way, which is often overlooked, would be to reduce the amount of stress we have in our life. I think for a lot of us, we walk around with pretty high stress levels, and don't take the appropriate time to de-stress or relax. This can be some pretty basic techniques, like taking 30 minutes to an hour each day where were just sit quietly and partake on an activity that we enjoy. It can be more formalized relaxation methods like yoga or meditation or even just taking a nice long walk. So these are five basic ways that we can all improve our overall heart health.

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