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Look After Your Heart, Look After Your Health

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Heart disease is a main factor in the cause of death of many people, but you can help protect your heart and don’t have to succumb to heart disease as easily as you may do. Although factors such as family history, sex or age are aspects you can’t change, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.


Smoking


Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can severely damage your heart and blood vessels.


Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some parts of the oxygen in your blood. This increases your blood pressure and heart rate by forcing your heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen around your body.


The good news, though, is that your risk of heart disease begins to lower almost immediately after quitting. For example, your risk of heart disease heavily reduces after one year of deciding to quit smoking. And it does not matter for how long or how much you smoked daily, as you'll start seeing and feeling the benefits as soon as you quit, not just on your health but on your finances, too.


Exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week


Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater. You can become fitter, healthier and stronger. You could even shock people by routinely working out, and you could end up in such good shape that people will wonder whether you have done lots of research and taken tips from "Are they on steroids". 


Of course you won’t be on steroids but your body could look so healthy and ripped that you could look like someone in seriously good shape.


In general, though, you should do moderate exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace, for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. For even more health benefits, aim for vigorous aerobic activity every week. In addition, aim to do strength training exercises two or more days a week.
And remember that activities such as gardening, housekeeping and walking the dog all count. You do not have to exercise excessively to help get the benefits, but you can see bigger benefits by increasing the intensity, length, and regularity of your workouts.


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Eat a heart-healthy diet


Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease.


Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat: saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat, try to limit or avoid saturated fat and trans fat as these are the most unhealthy.


But you do not have to cut all fats out of your diet. Healthy fats from sources such as avocado, nuts, olives and olive oil, help your heart by lowering the bad type of cholesterol and giving your body essential nutrients.


Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets — with a goal of five to 10 servings a day.

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