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How to Have a Healthy Heart

Updated on May 6, 2014

Your way to a Healthy Heart

Your way to a healthy heart starts with you making a commitment to be healthy.There are many things to do for a healthy heart, and it's never too late to start doing them.

Many in the united States and the world have or will have heart disease. Many of the causes of heart disease are our own fault. We fail to do whats right and keep on doing the things that are wrong for the heart.

First, we don't exercise regularly, I don't mean once a week. It means to exercise to the point of sweat and moderate panting. Exercise not only lowers our fat reserves, but raises our HDL levels (good cholesterol). Exercise at least three times per week and 30 minutes per session are sufficient.

Second, many, like myself, have always been under the impression that regular alcohol consumption was good for the heart. Sure alcohol has compounds which lower cholesterol, but rarely do we consume alcohol in moderation which leads to the hardening of arteries, not to mention that it can lead to legal issues as well. One regular size drink (12 oz) per day is more than enough. Not 7 on one day to make up for the rest of the week!

Third, we (U.S) consume more than double of the required salt intake per day. Salt also increases the body's retention of fluids. Most of the foods we consume, especially processed ones are loaded with salt. Salt intake should be reduced by at least 3 grams per day or no more than 1.5 grams per day of added salt.

Fourth,sugar is needed by your body especially your brain, but our consumption of added sugar has skyrocketed in the last few years. One can of soda gives you your total sugar need for the day. And the extra sugar is converted into fat which is in turn stored as fat( for men it goes straight to the belly). The culprit is added sugar not the one found naturally on foods.

Fifth,sleep (at least normal sleep) ,consist of 8 hours per night. Coffee, the need to catch the eleven o'clock news and other factors deprive most of us from getting the 8 hours that our body needs for good health.

Sixth, cigarettes more than double your risk of contracting heart disease, just one cigarette per day does this. Second hand smoke is just as damaging to non-smokers as if they were smoking themselves.

Seventh, blood sugar ( diabetes); if you have high blood sugar, then controlling with medication is a must as is diet and exercises.

Eighth, blood pressure;the number one factor for heart attacks. Anyone who suffers from high blood pressure must follow a doctors regimented medical plan to the letter as well as an increase in the number of vegetables, fruits and fish that are consumed on a regular basis. The normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80.

Ninth, your waist size; those of us,like me, that have a pear shape body( big belly) as compared to our body mass, have a much higher chance of developing heart disease. Again, exercise and diet are the keys.The added weight/fat puts undue pressure on vital organs and our heart struggles to keep blood pumping. Normal waist size in relation to body mass is 40 inches at the waist for men and 35 for women.

Tenth, cholesterol; we must try to keep the bad cholesterol in check. Watch what you eat and again...exercise. For more information & resources, visit the American Heart Association's Web page. See link at the bottom of the page.

You can have a healthy heart, but the first steps starts with you.

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CC BY 2.0
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© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • andrebreynolds profile image

      andrebreynolds 6 years ago

      Very useful hub. Thanks for posting.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      @Ken Barton: Be consistent and you will do it, it takes getting your metabolism used to a new routine but once that is accomplished it becomes much easier.

    • profile image

      health 6 years ago

      thanks...very informative..will be back

    • Ken Barton profile image

      Ken Barton 6 years ago

      Thank you Luis for this informative Hub. I see you and I joined Hub Pages about the same time. I hope to read all your Hubs on photography as I'd like to venture into that direction myself. My wife and I enjoy getting out of the house and traveling here and there. Photography would be a good compliment to our excursions and if we can make some money at the same time it would be great. As for this particular Hub, I am currently trying to loose weight and get back into shape so I don't end up with major heart problems like my Dad had. So far I've dropped 10 lbs, but I have another 40 to go before I'm at a healthy weight. Have a good day.

    • Edoka Writes profile image

      Edoka Writes 6 years ago

      Thank you for this informative hub and pep talk.