5 Inexpensive Tips for Heart Health that Can Save Your Life

Will you follow your H-E-A-R-T?
Guest blogger: Dr. John M. Kennedy
Los Angeles based cardiologist Dr. John M. Kennedy shares five inexpensive ways to a healthier heart. Dr. Kennedy says these tips are as easy as following your H-E-A-R-T!

1. H: Heal Your Blood Pressure

Your goal blood pressure should be 2. E: Exercise

You don't need a fancy, expensive gym membership to lower your risk of heart disease. Research shows that walking for 15 minutes 5 times a week can lower risk of heart disease by as much as 20%. Also, try to park further from work, take the stairs and, if possible, ride your bike to work a couple times a week.

3. A: Act on Fat

A larger waist size is associated with higher cardiac risk. Ideally, males should have a waist size less than 40 inches and females less than 38 inches.

Try to eat foods that boost your metabolism, like apples and pears, and drink more water. Research from Germany found that when subject drank 17 ounces or more of water a day, their ability to burn calories increased by up to 30%.

4. R: Reduce Your Blood Sugar

A normal fasting blood sugar level should range between 90 and 100. If your blood sugar level is > 105, then you have diabetes, which increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Research suggests that herbs like cinnamon and yarrow help regulate blood sugar levels and eating foods with a low glycemic index like non-sweetened oatmeal, and drinking water with meals can also help stabilize blood sugar levels.

5. T: Tackle Triglycerides

Triglygerides are part of our total cholesterol number and can become elevated when overweight and obese. Although goal numbers may vary for certain individuals, in general a total cholesterol LDL or bad cholesterol HDL or good cholesterol > 40 is ideal.

Studies show regular exercise and diets low in fat and red meat lead to lower cholesterol levels. Also, eating nuts like almonds, walnuts and pecans high in Omega 3 fatty acids can help to lower cholesterol levels.

About Dr. John M. Kennedy:
dr.kennedy100
Dr. John M. Kennedy is the co-author of "The 15-Minute Heart Cure: The Natural Way to Release Stress and Heal Your Heart in Just Minutes a Day." He works as Director of Preventive Cardiology and Wellness at Marina del Rey Hospital, in Marina del Rey, California.

He is on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association and speaks regularly on their behalf. Dr. Kennedy is a board certified cardiologist and has published articles in peer reviewed journals such as "The American Heart Journal," "Journal of American College of Cardiology and Circulation."

To find out more about Dr. Kennedy, visit his website JohnMKennedyMD.com.

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