Getting the heart-healthy benefits of daily commitment and it doesn’t have to be agony. It actually can (and should) be fun!

1. Start With Activities You Know. Walking, dancing in your living room, bowling, even cleaning the house counts as exercise if you’re getting a little winded doing it. Want more ideas? Running, biking, rowing, basically things that end with “ing” and that you can keep doing for 10-20 minutes, 5 days a week. Go easy.

2. The Power Of 10. Just 10 minutes of walking three times a day has been shown to lower blood pressure more effectively than a longer 30-minute bout of walking. So … 10 before work, 10 over lunch, and 10 after dinner will do it. Simple.

3. Go Old School With Food. Eating for maximum heart health really hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years. The healthy classics are still your best choices: fruits and vegetables, whole grains like brown rice and other unrefined carbs, nuts, seeds, and legumes such as chickpeas and lima beans. But don’t fry them in butter or smother them in cheese— bad idea that’ll raise your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. Meat? Sure, have some, but cut back and avoid fatty cuts.

4. Master The Art Of Chilling Out. Stress happens. The problem isn’t the circumstance as much as how we respond.When under pressure, our body amps up its adrenaline, which can overwork our hearts. What to do? Hop on a treadmill, roll out your yoga mat, or simply talk to someone, venting can be so therapeutic! 

5. Use Your ‘OFF’ Switch.  Sleep is when your body reboots and recovers, and it’s vital for all aspects of our health, not just heart health. When asleep, our heart rates and blood pressures go down, giving our hearts a much-need break. Make it a priority to be well rested and you’ll be ready to face whatever the day may bring.

6. No Smoking. Everybody knows smoking can lead to heart disease. So quit it. No ifs, ands, or butts.

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