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10 Habits for a Stronger Heart!

April 11, 2011

At first glance, you may think today’s post is a bit of a departure from the norm around here, but the truth is that I’m ever mindful of habits, nutrition, recipes and exercise routines that promote a healthy lifestyle. I admit it, when you nose around Savoring Simplicity, you’ll find rich dessert recipes that are meant to be enjoyed on occasion. That’s for sure.

There will always be a place for the yummy around here, but I try to remind myself that moderation is the key, and now I’m reminding you, cuz I’m bossy that way. I’m never perfect, so here’s my make up post for posting those cupcake recipes last week. Take care of yourself and live long for yourself and those who love you.

My husband subscribes to Men’s Health, and that’s where I found the following article.  Naturally, it’s based on the male perspective, but I think most of these tips will be helpful for anyone who wants to keep their heart strong.
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Ten Habits for a Stronger Heart
The smartest plan for attacking a heart attack is, of course, preventing one from ever happening. Choose three of the following strategies and make them a habit. The closer to the top, the more you reduce your risk of heart disease.

1. Convince Your Wife to Stop Smoking
Nonsmoking husbands of smoking wives face a 92 percent increase in their risk of heart attack. Breathing secondhand smoke boosts bad cholesterol levels, decreases good cholesterol, and increases your blood’s tendency to clot.

2. Work Out for 30 Minutes, Four Times a Week
Middle-aged men who exercise vigorously for 2 or more hours cumulatively per week have 60 percent less risk of heart attack than inactive men do.

3. Lose 10 to 20 Pounds
If you’re overweight, dropping 10 to 20 pounds lowers your risk of dying from a heart attack. A 10-year study found that overweight people had heart attacks 8.2 years earlier than normal-weight victims.

4. Drink Five Glasses of Water a Day
Men who drink that many 8-ounce glasses are 54 percent less likely to have a fatal heart attack than those who drink two or fewer. Researchers say the water dilutes the blood, making it less likely to clot.

5. Switch from Coffee to Tea
A recent study found that people who drink three cups of tea a day have half the risk of heart attack of those who don’t drink tea at all. Potent antioxidants, called flavonoids, provide a protective effect.

6. Eat Salmon on Saturday, Tuna on Tuesday
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health say that eating fish at least twice a week lowers heart-disease risk by more than 30 percent. The magic ingredient is the omega-3 fatty acids.

7. Ask Your Doctor About Vitamin E and Aspirin
Men who take both cut the plaque in clogged arteries by more than 80 percent, according to a recent University of Pennsylvania study.

8. Eat a Cup of Total Corn Flakes for Breakfast
This cereal contains one of the highest concentrations of folate (675 micrograms) of any cereal. Taking in that much folic acid daily cuts your risk of cardiovascular disease by 13 percent, according to researchers.

9. Count to 10
Creating a 10-second buffer before reacting to a stressful situation may be enough to cool you down. Men who respond with anger are three times more likely to have heart disease and five times more likely to have a heart attack before turning 55.

10. Eat Watermelon
It contains about 40 percent more lycopene than is found in raw tomatoes, and a new study shows that your body absorbs it at higher levels due to the melon’s high water content. Half a wedge can boost heart-disease prevention by 30 percent.

Source: MensHealth

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