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Do’s and Don’ts for Heart Health

It’s February – American Heart Month – a time when the nation spotlights heart health and disease, the No. 1 killer of Americans. In many cases, heart disease is preventable. Adopting a healthful lifestyle can make all the difference.

Below are the most important Do’s and Don’ts to lower your risk of heart disease.

Do: Maintain a Healthy Weight

When it comes to your heart, diet matters. The good news is, there are so many delicious ways to eat right and still maintain a healthy diet. If you’re looking for an animal source of lean protein, fish like haddock, pollock and halibut are excellent low-fat sources. Even oily fish like tuna and salmon are good for your heart because of the type of fat they contain. Fruits and veggies deliver flavonoids, blood pressure-friendly potassium and magnesium and vitamin C. Leafy greens like spinach are packed with heart-healthy vitamin k and other good stuff, like antioxidants and fiber. 

Don’t: Smoke Cigarettes

If you’re a smoker, odds are you’ve been hearing this one for a while. It might be annoying, but there’s no better one-step way to improve your heart health than to quit smoking. Smoking damages the cardiovascular system by causing blood vessels to narrow and thicken. It also reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to work harder than it should to get enough oxygen to your body and brain.

That after-dinner cigarette doesn’t sound like much of a stress reliever now, does it?

Do: Exercise

It’s called ‘cardio’ for a reason. Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that helps strengthen your cardiovascular system. Running, walking, biking, swimming, or any number of in-place machines like treadmills or ellipticals.

Effective cardiovascular exercise increases oxygen circulation in your muscles. Those who exercise regularly and live a more active life are more likely to be able to maintain healthy blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol as well as weight – all of which have a direct impact on your heart.

Don’t: Neglect Getting Regular Blood Tests for Risk Factors

Remember there’s more to heart health than meets the eye. Keeping tabs on unseen factors that affect your heart, such as glucose (blood sugar), cholesterol and blood pressure is important. The best defense, after all, is catching dangers early and taking steps to prevent them from becoming major issues.

Do: Invest in a Heart/Stroke/Cancer Policy

Still, no matter how many steps you take to improve your health, there are risks. Protect yourself and your loved ones before it’s too late. Give yourself peace of mind in case of a health scare with a Cancer/Heart/Stroke policy from ASBA. This plan will pay cash directly to you upon the first diagnosis. The money is paid at one time in one lump sum and is yours to be used however you like.