Healthy heart tips

  • Have a heart-healthy diet

    You really are what you eat. If you regularly eat bacon and eggs, cheeseburgers, and chips, then you and your heart aren't going to be in the best condition.

  • Know your family medical history

    Certain diseases and illnesses can be passed from generation to generation, and heart disease is one of them. If your father died from a heart attack at the age of 50, then the chances are you may be headed down the same road. Even the healthiest of us cannot do anything about the genes we have inherited, so it is important to take action to cut the risk.

  • Do not smoke

    Every smoker on the planet knows that it's not good for them. The problem is that it's really hard to give it up and almost half of patients who undergo surgery for lung cancer continue to smoke.

  • Exercise

    When you lift weights, your muscles get stronger and healthier. Your heart is a muscle, so the same thing holds true for it. Doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise three times a week.

  • Preventive screenings

    It is best to stop a problem before it becomes one. Health screenings can give you and your doctor a lot of information about how at risk you are for heart disease.

  • Lower your blood pressure

    The first step in controlling your blood pressure is to have it checked on a regular basis. Once you find out you have high blood pressure, your doctor will ask you to eat less fatty foods, cut your salt intake, stop smoking if you are a smoker, exercise and limit the amount of alcohol you drink.

  • Lower your cholesterol

    There are two kinds of cholesterol – one good and one bad. The good one is produced in the liver and plays a vital role in the functioning of your body's cells. However, the second kind enters the walls of your blood vessels and if enough of it sticks around, it's called plaque. Over time, this plaque can rupture and block the vessels altogether- and then it could be heart attack time.

  • Sleep

    In today's hectic world, it seems like some of our basic needs aren't often met – and sleep is one of them. Although it varies for everyone, doctors suggest that adults should try to get about eight hours of sleep per night, and more for children.

  • Aspirin

    People who have already had a heart attack are often advised to begin taking an aspirin a day to help prevent another one. The popular pain reliever, in low doses, works to help prevent clotting by thinning the blood. If your blood isn't clotting, you're less likely to have a heart attack.

  • Chill out

    Everyone knows that being stressed out isn't a good feeling. However, it goes a little deeper than that – stress can actually have severe effects on your body.