Week #1: Artery Maintenance
With simple additions to your diet and exercise routine, you can keep your arteries clean.
- Add 2 tablespoons of flax seed oil to your breakfast. Flaxseed oil keeps red blood cells from clumping and forming the clots that block arteries.
- Take 2 baby aspirin every night before bed. Make sure to drink a large glass of water. Baby aspirin will help prevent inflammation, which increases your risk for heart disease. Aspirin keeps blood platelets from clumping and clotting.
- Do 10 minutes of stretching in the morning. Research shows that adults who stretch have 30% less stiffness in their arteries – a key factor in preventing a heart attack. Click here to see some sample stretches.
Week #2: Challenge Your Heart
Getting your heart rate up for a few minutes a day can improve your overall fitness and heart function. Exercise helps to strip away the irritating materials that contribute to artery ruptures.
- Climb stairs for 7 minutes a day.
- Take a brisk 20-minute walk. Studies show walking briskly for 20 minutes a day may lower your risk for a heart attack by 30%.
Week #3: Lower Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a problem many Americans face. Here are some simple ways you can make sure your blood pressure stays within the healthy range.
- Add 3 servings of fruit to your diet every day. The powerful antioxidants in fruit help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Click here to get Dr. Oz’s heart smart food log.
- For dinner, make vegetables your main course and meat the side dish. A study showed people with diets high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meat drastically reduced their risk of heart disease. Additionally, whereas meat does contain sodium, vegetables do not, helping to keep your salt intake low. Click here for some delicious vegetable recipes.
Week #4: Reduce Stress
Stress can take a toll on your heart, such as raising your blood pressure. People who are stressed and depressed are 3 times more likely to suffer a heart attack. Studies also show that people who feel loved and supported are less likely to get sick and die prematurely. Here are 3 ways to reduce stress:
- Make 2 calls a week. Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. Gather support from your social network.
- Make time for one social engagement a week. Even a short visit can have a big impact on your mental state.
- Have sex. That’s right. Getting busy isn’t only good for your love life, it’s good for your heart, too. Click here to learn more about boosting your bedroom activity.