• Being Heart Healthy

    Assuming you do not suffer some horrible accident or disease which causes your heart to literally stop, this muscle works on your behalf 24/7/365 from before birth to your last breath. In fact, the human heart, is said to beat two and a half billion times within a lifespan of 66 years. There is no biological or man-made entity that comes close to matching this muscle's work ethic.

    Still, like every great machine, the heart must be properly cared for, maintained, and repaired as needed. So often we take for granted its function that we fail to consider it when making decisions about our health and fitness. For this reason, we've assembled a couple of things to keep in mind in order to stay heart healthy.

    Heart Healthy Tips

    • A Balanced Diet - To often we associate our diets with weight and not often enough with health.  A diet rich in nutrients, low in fat, high in fiber, and balanced is the key to keeping your heart properly "oiled."  Eating too many fats and depriving your body of necessary nutrition is similar to using used or bad oil in your car. It may run if it's new. However, eventually, you'll notice a general deterioration of function and performance.

    • Exercise - Besides the proper nutrients, your heart loves a good sweat. And, like all muscles, the heart will become stronger as a result. Exercise helps the heart by improving cholesterol and fat levels, reducing inflammation in the arteries, and keeping blood vessels flexible and open. In fact, over time, exercise will make your heart more efficient, allowing it to take it easy a bit. Studies show that the resting heart rate of a fit person is markedly lower than an unfit person. This doesn't mean that their heart is working less - only that the work needed is done with less strain.

      photo courtesy of ta duc
    • Regular Check-ups - No matter what your current health, regular checkups are a must. Even the most seemingly healthy person can fall victim to genetic or unexplained disease. Make sure your heart is healthy and stays healthy.
    • No Smoking - Although we often associate smoking with lung cancer, smoking also causes heart disease. Nearly 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the US are related to smoking, often a result of coronary artery disease. Smoking decreases oxygen to the heart, increases blood pressure and heart rate, increases blood clotting, and damages the cells that line coronary arteries and other blood vessels.
    The Bottom Line Your heart never stops working for you. You should return the favor by making some efforts on its behalf.

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