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You and Your Heart: Best Friends Forever

Many factors make up a good friend. They are dependable, willing to drop everything to be there for you when you need them. They’re loyal even when you mistreat them, they will remain by your side. And they have the ability to pump five quarts of blood every minute.

Many of us don’t think of our heart as being our friend but the truth is, they should be our best friend. They work so hard to support us – beating 100,000 times a day, nonstop, for our entire life. It’s time we start paying them back. Here are a few ways to strengthen your friendship with your heart.

Quit smoking. Friends don’t let friends smoke. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a buildup of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can cause serious health issues, such as heart attack or stroke. Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health.

Workout together. Your heart is a musclehead! If it could go to the gym, it’d tear through the exercise machines, maxing out every weight, every rep at the highest speed possible. While, unfortunately, our hearts can’t get in the car and drive to a local gym, they can hitch a ride with us. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week can help reduce blood pressure and stress while increasing energy and quality of sleep.

Dinner plans. Luckily, our hearts are low-maintenance when it comes to dining. They don’t need to go to the fanciest restaurant in town or order the most expensive option. In fact, they’d prefer a good ol’ home-cooked meal. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, legumes, nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy products can decrease your cholesterol. This diet, along with exercise, will help maintain a healthy blood pressure as well.

When it comes down to it, take care of your heart and your heart will take care of you. A healthy lifestyle is vital for supporting your heart and is proven to go a long way to preventing heart disease and prolonging your lifespan. Talk to your doctor about more ways you can support your heart.

For more information about heart health and to discover the many ways Stormont Vail Health can empower your heart, visit our Cotton O’Neil Heart Center page today.

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