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10 easy steps to help protect your heart that you can use RIGHT NOW

by , 23 July 2013

Did you know that estimates by the World Health Organisation indicate that 17 million people die of cardiovascular disease (CVDs), particularly heart attacks and strokes every year? The good news is you can reduce your risk of a heart attack by taking these small significant steps to protect your heart. And here they are…

One of the reasons to blame for the high rates of heart disease is that most people aren’t taking better care of their hearts. But FSPHealth wants to change that by giving you a few practical tips that’ll keep your heart healthy.

Here are 10 tips you can use to keep your heart healthy

#1: Walk for 10 minutes every day. If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you walk regularly, consider adding more exercise to your day.

#2: Give yourself a lift. Lifting a hardcover book or a 1kg weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.

#3: Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day. Fruits and vegetables taste good and are good for everything from your brain to your bowels.

#4: Make breakfast count. Start your day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.

#5: Stop drinking your calories. Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened cool drink or calorie-laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate to shedding 5kg of weight.

#6: Have a handful of nuts. “Walnuts, almonds, peanuts and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes,” writes Antoinette Pombo on FSPHealth.

#7: Sample the fruits of the sea. Eat fish or other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It’s good for your heart, brain and your waistline.

#8: Breathe deeply. Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. This will help you relax. Slow, deep breathing could also help lower blood pressure.

#9: Wash your hands often. Scrubbing up with soap and water often during the day is a great way to protect your heart and health. And that’s essential because flu, pneumonia and other infections can take a toll on your heart.

#10: Count your blessings. “Taking a moment each day to acknowledge your blessings is a great way to tap into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life and greater well-being,” writes Pombo. Remember, chronic anger, worry and hostility contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

While these steps may seem simplistic, they’ll go a long way in protecting your heart.

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