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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  • Adhere to a consistent exercise program and follow a heart-healthy diet. If you need help, talk to your doctor, hire a personal trainer, and/or enlist the services of a dietitian or certified wellness coach. Do whatever it takes.
     
  • Lose excess weight safely, which means slowly. Maintaining a healthy body weight is known to reduce your risk of heart disease. However, crash dieting repeatedly, very-low calories diets (VLCD), cleansings and fasts have all been shown to weaken the immune system and damage heart muscles, thus increasing the threat of developing heart disease.
     
  • Develop a robust circle of friends and loved ones and nurture those relationships. Studies have shown that people who lack a strong network of friends and family are at a greater risk of developing and dying from heart disease. If loneliness plagues you, developing good relationships will not only increase your happiness, but will make you healthier. Consider signing up for volunteer work. Take a class that interests you. Meetup.com is a great website that lists interest groups by geographic areas and has so many groups that you are sure to find a new social circle.
     
  • Brush, floss and rinse everyday. It’s not just about sweet-smelling breath and pearly whites: Gum disease has been linked to heart problems. Make sure you keep on top of professional cleanings at your dentist’s office twice a year.
     
  • Get a good night's sleep. Researchers have found that the chronically sleep-deprived increase their likelihood of developing heart disease. Aim for a minimum of seven hours a night.
     
  • Reduce your intake of sodium by reading food labels and choosing lower-sodium items. Avoiding the salt shaker will only make a small dent in your daily sodium intake, since the majority of salt we consume comes from processed foods we purchase. Consistently exceeding the recommended daily sodium threshold of 2,400 milligrams raises the danger of developing high blood pressure, often a precursor to heart disease.
     
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes, or do everything in your power to stop, if you do. Although we tend to associate smoking with lung problems and cancer, it also plays a role in cardiovascular disease. Smoking is a major cause of atherosclerosis, which is the build up of fatty substances on the arteries. This narrowing results in a decrease of oxygen-rich blood flow to the heart muscle. Over time, if one or more of the arteries that lead to the heart get totally blocked, a heart attack may occur.
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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

  • There is one point there that should be updated. Salt it not the culprit. Sugar is. We need a certain amount of sea salt. - 10/29/2014 8:18:09 AM
  • It's very beneficial to promote articles like these. Often there are comments like "nothing new here" or "we've heard it all before." This may be true BUT not everyone has heard it all before and it doesn't hurt to be reminded.

    I forgot about green tea. That's something I can easily include in my day.
    Thank you for reposting articles of importance. - 10/29/2014 6:47:23 AM
  • There apparently is a page missing with the Heart smart tips you HAVEN'T heard. These have all been heard, some more than others maybe, but heard or shared somewhere. Several aren't even accurate if you keep up the research. Heart disease has many components and contributing factors and you (plural, not just this article writer) can't keep giving people the same canned responses.

    Check with your own physician.

    At the classes at our local cardiac rehab center the number one reversible or preventable thing you can do (and yes we've all heard it) is don't smoke or Quit smoking if you do. It was even listed as more of an issue than weight loss.

    PS: The majority of sodium in the American diet comes from processed and fast food; very little comes from the salt shaker. If you eat real food and less packaged, processed food, you are automatically eating less sodium.

    - 10/29/2014 5:52:03 AM
  • 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.
    Jak Manson | http://adoptionce
    nterofillinoi
    s.org/adoptio
    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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