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Be Good to Your Heart and it Will Be Good To You

Apr 10, 2008
Your heart is absolutely essential to your health. It is the muscle that pumps blood throughout your body, transporting vital fuel and oxygen to all your working muscles and organs. While heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women according to the American Heart Association, fortunately there are ways to significantly lower your risks of heart disease and keep your heart going strong.

One of the most important ways to care for your heart is to follow a heart healthy diet. Choose your foods carefully to limit your intake of saturated and trans-fat. When preparing your own meals, cook with unsaturated olive, vegetable or canola oils, or request this when you order at a restaurant. Strive to include heart healthy omega-3 oils, commonly found in cold-water fish and flax seeds, as well as 25 grams of fiber in your diet. You can meet your body's requirements for fiber by eating lots of fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains foods. The USDA recommends consuming a wide variety of vegetables, such as dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and starchy vegetables. Try to consume at least two and half cups of vegetables per day, as well as two cups of fruit.

Not to be overlooked, exercise is another incredibly important aspect of your heart's health. At a minimum, you should strive for 30 minutes of aerobic activity, three times a week. Aerobic activity refers to any exercise that increases your respiration and heart rate, such as walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or tennis. This type of exercise not only strengthens your heart and improves its efficiency, it may also strengthen working muscle groups, reduce body fat, and improve bone density. Anaerobic activity refers exercise of high intensity but short duration, such as weight lifting or power activities, which may also strengthen working muscle groups.

If you are not motivated by heart health, there are other factors that might jumpstart your heart healthy diet and commitment to exercise. You might be motivated to look great on your vacation this spring and find the energy to get to the gym more frequently. Or you might enjoy the social aspect of meeting your friends for a run on the trails.

Whatever your motivations for a healthy diet and commitment to exercise, the result will be improved care for your heart. And one thing we all must have is a healthy heart. Remember be good to your heart and it will be good to you.
About the Author
Bill Romanowski is a 4-time NFL Super Bowl Champion player who endured the most grueling impact on his mind and body during his 16 year NFL career. During this time Bill learned how to harness premium nutrition to benefit both his mind and body. Romo is a living example of the quality of life that one can enjoy if they fuel their body with the correct nutrients. You can contact Bill at Nutrition53.
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