5 Easy Ways to Prevent Heart Disease

Since heart disease is America’s number one cause of death (accounting for 34 percent of all of them), it makes sense to focus on ways you can prevent heart disease. Fortunately, keeping your heart healthy is fairly easy. It’s getting started that can sometimes be hard! Here are five simple habits that you can adopt today that will help you prevent heart disease.

  1. Exercise regularly. If added lots of workouts to your schedule is overwhelming, try ramping up the time you spend doing physical activity each week. The American Heart Association suggests aiming for at least two-and-a-half hours per week of moderate physical activity. If you are currently overweight, try easier activities to start such as walking or swimming.
  2. Eat wisely. Choose whole foods as often as possible. Your diet should be heavy on the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. The food on your plate should be low in sugar, sodium, and saturated fats. Good choices include a variety of different colored produce, along with fish, chicken, and low-fat dairy products. Avoid heavily processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, lots of salt, and saturated or trans fats.
  3. Drink smart. Yes, alcohol can be good for your heart. However, you should drink it in moderation. Ladies, you should have only one drink per day, while the gents get to indulge in no more than two.
  4. Avoid tobacco. Smoking cigarettes wrecks havoc on your cardiovascular system. It can be hard to quit, so develop a support system and a plan that will help you stop smoking for good. Even if you don’t smoke, it’s wise to avoid second hand exposure too.
  5. Reduce stress. Bills, work, family – whatever is getting you down, do you best to make relaxation part of your life. Exercise can help, but so can meditation and other relaxation techniques. Avoid common triggers such as watching television or trolling the Internet. And make sure you get a good night’s sleep!