27 Protips for a Healthy Heart, Part Two

Should be obvious to you already, but the health of your heart is of the utmost importance.

In the United States, it’s apparent that too few of us take our ticker seriously. But not us!

So let’s get your heart feeling strong and healthy. Here’s Part 2 of 2 in our mini-series Protips for a Healthy Heart.

14

Walk it off

The next time you feel overwhelmed, exasperated, or angry, take a stroll. Even a five-minute walk can help clear your head and lower your stress levels, which is good for your health. Taking a half-hour walk every day is even better for your physical and mental health.

15

Brush your teeth regularly

Good oral hygiene does more than keep your teeth white and glistening. According to the Cleveland Clinic, some research suggests that the bacteria that cause gum disease can also raise your risk of heart disease. While the research findings have been mixed, there’s no downside to taking good care of your teeth and gums.

17

Cut the fat

Slicing your saturated fat intake to no more than 7 percent of your daily calories can cut your risk of heart disease, advises the USDA. If you don’t normally read nutrition labels, considering starting today. Take stock of what you’re eating and avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.

18

Take the scenic route home

Put down your cell phone, forget about the driver who cut you off, and enjoy your ride. Eliminating stress while driving can help lower your blood pressure and stress levels. That’s something your cardiovascular system will appreciate.

19

Make time for breakfast

Huge healthy breakfast spread on a table

The first meal of the day is an important one. Eating a nutritious breakfast every day can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight. To build a heart-healthy meal, reach for:

  • whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-grain cereals, or whole-wheat toast
  • lean protein sources, such as turkey bacon or a small serving of nuts or peanut butter
  • low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese
  • fruits and vegetables

20

Take the stairs

walking up stairs

Exercise is essential for good heart health, so why not sneak it in at every opportunity? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park on the far side of the parking lot. Walk to a colleague’s desk to talk, instead of emailing them. Play with your dog or kids at the park, instead of just watching them. Every little bit adds up to better fitness.

21

Brew up a heart-healthy potion

green tea

No magic is needed to brew up a cup of green or black tea. Drinking one to three cups of tea per day may help lower your risk of heart problems, reports the AHA. For example, it’s linked to lower rates of angina and heart attacks.

22

Know your numbers

Keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglycerides in check is important for good heart health. Learn the optimal levels for your sex and age group. Take steps to reach and maintain those levels. And remember to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor. If you want to make your doctor happy, keep good records of your vitals or lab numbers, and bring them to your appointments.

23

Eat chocolate

Dark chocolate not only tastes delicious, it also contains heart-healthy flavonoids. These compounds help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease, suggest scientists in the journal Nutrients. Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate — not oversweetened milk chocolate — can actually be good for you. The next time you want to indulge your sweet tooth, sink it into a square or two of dark chocolate. No guilt required.

24

Kick your housework up a notch

Vacuuming or mopping the floors may not be as invigorating as a Body Slam or Zumba class. But these activities and other household chores do get you moving. They can give your heart a little workout, while burning calories too. Put your favorite music on and add some pep to your step while you complete your weekly chores.

25

Go nuts

Almonds, walnuts, pecans, and other tree nuts deliver a powerful punch of heart-healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Including them in your diet can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember to keep the serving size small, suggests the AHA. While nuts are full of healthy stuff, they’re also high in calories.

26

Be a kid

Fitness doesn’t have to be boring. Let your inner child take the lead by enjoying an evening of roller skating, bowling, or laser tag. You can have fun while burning calories and giving your heart a workout.

27

Consider pet therapy

Our pets offer more than good company and unconditional love. They also provide numerous health benefits. Studies reported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggest that owning a pet may help improve your heart and lung function. It may also help lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

This article was brought to you by the Proactive Health Management Plan in partnership with Healthline.

626 Comments
  • Sue Moore
    Posted at 19:29h, 20 March

    Nice tips to knowledge

  • Jolene Davidson
    Posted at 20:25h, 18 March

    Thanks good information

  • Lisa Chevalier
    Posted at 09:28h, 18 March

    Thank you

  • Joyce Towe
    Posted at 18:51h, 17 March

    Thanks!

  • Krystal C Edwards
    Posted at 17:29h, 16 March

    Thanks

  • Paul Montalbo
    Posted at 08:18h, 15 March

    Interesting my wife has heart problems

  • Amy Courtney
    Posted at 07:19h, 15 March

    Thank you

  • Lona Franczak
    Posted at 23:50h, 14 March

    My doctor said that the plaque you get on your teeth that cause discoloration is the same plaque that builds up in your blood stream causing heart problems!! Brush your teeth folks!!!

  • Florene k. Thompson
    Posted at 20:30h, 14 March

    Interesting articles

  • Larissa Hernandez
    Posted at 18:59h, 14 March

    Thanks.. good article

  • Angela Washington
    Posted at 15:20h, 14 March

    Great tips, thanks

  • Cynthia Lee
    Posted at 14:52h, 14 March

    Thanks

  • Hellen H
    Posted at 13:30h, 14 March

    Good info

  • Sherry unger
    Posted at 13:10h, 14 March

    Very good tips to know thank you very much

  • Doris jennings
    Posted at 12:21h, 14 March

    Good information thank

  • Mike irrizarry
    Posted at 11:55h, 14 March

    Thanks

  • Katelyn Townsend
    Posted at 11:32h, 14 March

    Thanks

  • Marina Hawkins
    Posted at 11:25h, 14 March

    Thank you

  • Miguel Cotto
    Posted at 11:11h, 14 March

    Thank you

  • Joseph Pierce
    Posted at 09:57h, 14 March

    Very good advice.

  • Maryann Colvin
    Posted at 09:47h, 14 March

    Thanks.

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 09:36h, 14 March

    Great information

  • Judy Bryant
    Posted at 09:33h, 14 March

    I plan to incorporate a daily walk at lunch time or in the evenings.

  • Teresa Hopper
    Posted at 08:00h, 14 March

    Thanks

  • Francisco J Estrada
    Posted at 03:50h, 14 March

    Thanks.. good article and good information