Although genetics does play a part in your overall heart health, there are steps you can take to help lower the risk of heart disease. If you follow these 5 strategies you’ll be well on your way to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
1. Don’t smoke or use tobacco
Smoking or using tobacco is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Atherosclerosis can ultimately lead to a heart attack. When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe. Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky, as is exposure to secondhand smoke.
2. Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week
Getting some regular, daily exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help protect your heart. Following the DASH diet means eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol, and salt. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products, which can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein, and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Continue reading at www.mayoclinic.com for the rest of these 5 heart health tips.