Health & Wellness Articles

12 Heart-Smart Tips You Haven't Heard

There's More to Heart Health than Diet and Exercise

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When I flip my calendar to February, two things usually come to my mind. One, I’m getting tired of the cold and snowy winter, and two, Valentine’s Day is coming. Now, I don’t know how you feel about this “holiday," but I like it.

Red happens to be my favorite color, and I love seeing all the decorations in stores. I look forward to reading the articles in magazines about celebrating our relationships, and how best to tell those who mean the most to you that you care. And even though baking is not my thing, I find it fun to read the Valentine’s Day recipes and see the heart-shaped cakes and cupcakes in the bakeries.

Regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day, hearts are everywhere, and February is also American Heart Month. Although we think of the heart as the vehicle of emotions, that job really belongs to our minds.

The heart’s job is to keep us alive by pumping vital oxygen-enriched blood to every cell of our body, doing all the jobs that keep us functioning.

With such an important role, it’s essential to do all we can to keep our hearts healthy and strong. There is a common misconception that heart attacks only occur in men, but a recent Harvard Medical School study found that 92% of women are in danger of developing cardiovascular disease.

Many believe that cardiovascular disease has such a strong genetic component, that there is little you can do to prevent the inevitable. Please don’t fall into this faulty thinking. There is an old expression that states: “Genetics loads the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.”

We cannot underscore the importance of good nutrition and exercise. The heart is a muscle, and the more it works, the stronger it gets. A heart-healthy diet is one filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, low-fat protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. It happens to be the same diet that is recommended to reduce the risk of so many other diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and vascular diseases, which of course, all raise your risk of heart disease.

Although exercise and a healthy diet top this list, here are twelve interventions you should embrace to protect your heart. Some will be familiar and serve as a good reminder, and others will surprise you. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take the best possible care of yourself. Begin with strengthening the most important muscle in your body, your heart.

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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen Goldman has bachelor's and master's degrees in health and physical education. An AFAA-certified personal trainer and certified wellness coach, she is also the founder EnerG Coaching, LLC. Through one-on-one and group sessions, Ellen helps individuals make positive lifestyle changes, lose weight, manage stress and attain work-life balance. Visit her at www.EnerGcoaching.com.

Member Comments

  • Good info, but the title is more than a little patronizing. All this information has been around for years.

    Pets are wonderfully theraputic, but please only adopt one if it fits your lifestyle. - 4/6/2014 3:39:00 AM
  • MANSONJAK
    These are some very helpful tips. Thank you for sharing these great tips and help me set goals. These are really going to help me change my diet and make sure that I am healthier.
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    n-in-aurora-illinois - 3/24/2014 3:00:36 PM
  • NATURELADY101
    Though I have heard these suggestions in other places before it was good to have them all together in a convenient place. I have bookmarked the first page of the article to be able to go back to it occasionally for reminders. We ALL need reminders at some time or other... - 10/8/2013 10:09:48 AM
  • KAWOODXX
    My doctor told me after my mild heart attack in 2005 to take an aspirin everyday and i have been since then .i also take plavix. now that i have read your comments, i will check with my dr. about continuing the aspirin. so glad i read this, just in case i dont need anymore. thanks. - 10/4/2013 5:24:40 PM
  • How can you call an article "12 Heart-Smart Tips You Haven't Heard" when ALL of these are either old news or just plain common sense...Geez, what a deceptive waste of time. - 7/4/2013 9:17:17 AM
  • I have high BP and high cholesterol..and asked my family doc if I should I take a baby aspirin every day (both are controlled with meds), he said no...that the side effects of taking a daily baby aspirin is worse than the chance of heart attack or stroke. Losing weight, excercise and not smoking is better. - 10/9/2012 4:15:18 AM
  • Most MDs don't recommend that you take a daily aspirin to prevent heart disease. Only do this if your doctor recommends it. - 2/20/2012 12:57:40 PM

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