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Seven steps to a heart-healthy life

Jul. 13, 2013 @ 12:44 AM

"A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination," said a man who had both -- Nelson Mandela. Well, here's the knowledge you need (a good head) to make sure your cardiovascular system (a good heart) stays healthy for decades more!

Unfortunately, ever more folks have high levels of lousy LDL cholesterol (more than 71 million North American adults), are overweight or obese (67 percent of adults) and have hypertension (33 percent of folks 20+). Almost 105 million have prediabetes or diabetes. These are huge risk factors for heart disease.

But you can defuse your potential heart problems. Here are our 7 Steps to Heart Health. They'll also improve your love life and brain function and reduce cancer risks.

1. Don't smoke and avoid secondhand smoke; people who do have 20 percent to 40 percent fewer heart events over two years.

2. Do whatever it takes to get your blood pressure to 115/75.

3. Keep your waist measurement to less than half your height.

4. Manage stress with meditation.

5. Adopt good heart/brain nutrition: Avoid saturated and trans fats, all added sugars and sugar syrups, and any grain that isn't 100 percent whole.

6. Get active: Your heart will love 10,000 steps daily; 30 minutes of resistance exercise weekly; 20 minutes of cardio three times a week.

7. Consider a supplement regimen: a statin and 200 mg CoQ10 daily, along with two baby aspirins with half a glass of warm water before and after (ask your doc); plus 1,000 IU of vitamin D-3 and 420 mg of purified omega-7 a day.

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com.

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