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Simple Reminders for Better Heart Health

By Stepy Kamei

Heart disease is a major health concern in the United States -- it's the No. 1 cause of death in this nation. From poor eating habits to living largely sedentary lifestyles, we've adapted to many negative habits which are only serving to make heart health worse. Many of us are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, which is why it's a good idea to start taking steps now to make heart health a priority in your life. Even if you are in considerably good health and have no known risks for heart disease, it's still important to take this part of your overall well-being seriously as soon as possible. 

Educate Yourself on Normal Heart Behavior

If you want to know how to spot signs of trouble when it comes to your heart health, you're going to want to know what's normal. The average person experiences a resting heart rate within the range of 60-100 beats per minute. You can get a pulse reading at your next checkup, or you can take your pulse yourself. Simply place two fingers on the inside of your wrist, elbow, or neck (wherever is easiest to find a pulse) and count how many beats occur in a 15-second timeframe. Multiply your answer by 4 for an accurate pulse reading. A low heart rate can be a sign that you're simply very athletic, but if this isn't indicative of your lifestyle, you'll want to check in with your doctor. Alternatively, a heart rate which is too fast can be a sign of many potential health concerns, such as panic disorder, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol levels. 

Get Rid of Unhealthy Habits

There are certain bad habits you're going to need to cut out of your lifestyle if you want to really make sure your heart is healthy. Smoking is, unsurprisingly, one of the worst things you can do to your body as it can make your risk of developing cardiovascular disease significantly higher. Eating unhealthy junk foods and living a largely sedentary lifestyle are a few more unhealthy habits you should work toward cleaning up right away. Packaged and processed foods tend to be high in sugar, fat, and sodium content, which can increase inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an indicator for heart problems. Combine this with not getting enough exercise, and your heart may be in big trouble. Try to go for daily walks, take the stairs more often, and hit the gym if you can. You may also want to consider improving your overall health by seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis. 

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