tips to protect your heart

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Tips to Protect Your Heart

21. Drink wine with dinner
Yes, you read that right. In moderation, booze can actually benefit your heart. Drinking onewe repeat, oneglass of red or white wine a day can decrease the chance of dying from heart disease by 25 percent.
22. Get a move on
Consider this: On a minutebyminute basis, your heart muscle labors twice as hard as your leg muscles during a sprint. And you have to work your heart out to keep it working. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (think brisk walking or cycling) or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise (i.e., cardio thats intense enough to make carrying on a conversation difficult), plus strength training at least twice a week. But the most important aspect of exercise is making it a habit. Time is not as important as frequency, says Scott Danberg, director of fitness at the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa in Miami.
23. Calm your mind
Stress and heart disease go hand in hand, says Martha Gulati, M.D., director of womens cardiovascular health at Ohio State University. If youre constantly frazzled, your bodys high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) can lead to rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure, a potentially deadly combo. Too much cortisol can also damage arterial linings, making it harder for blood to deliver nutrients to your organs.

Knock down your stress level by hitting the mat: A recent study found that three months of biweekly yoga can help regulate both cortisol and irregular heart rate. Lauren Maher, a certified yoga therapist in Los Angeles, recommends starting with the uberrelaxing catcow pose: Get onto your hands and knees and slowly inhale while arching your back toward the ceiling; slowly exhale and round your back down toward the floor. Repeat for three minutes.
24. Floss every day
Gum disease doesnt just make for foul breath and a mangled smile its also murder on your heart. If youre breeding bacteria between your teeth, your immune system is on chronic high alert, a condition called inflammation that taxes your vital organs, including your heart. In fact, a womans chance of having a heart attack may double if she has gum disease, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.

Flossing is the best way to banish dangerous oral bacteria, so whip out that string every night before brushing your teeth, says Mark Schlesinger, D.D.S., of the New York University College of Dentistry.

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