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1. Stop smoking (and cut back on the alcohol, too)

Quitting smoking overall is the best thing you can do for your body and especially your heart. Smoking is actually one of the main causes of coronary heart disease - and just after a year of giving up smoking, your risk for having a heart attack falls to about half of that of someone who does smoke.

Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to weight gain, which has a pretty large impact on heart function. This brings us to the next point...

2. Manage your weight

Managing your weight is very important because carrying excess fat on the body is unhealthy, no matter your body type. That’s why your doctor is always hounding you about weight! It’s one of the most no-brainer things that is much easier said than done but making sure you eat a balanced diet and get in some good exercise regularly can benefit you in multiple ways.

Some of the best heart-healthy foods include leafy greens, whole grains, berries, avocados, walnuts, and even dark chocolate! You’ll want to be sure to cut down on saturated fat and eat more fiber along with consuming omega-3 fats from fish, which aids in protecting from heart disease.

3. Add regular exercise to your weekly routine

Getting active is so good for your heart, it cannot be stressed enough. Leading a primarily sedentary lifestyle can negatively impact your quality of life (i.e. depression, weight gain, etc.). Making time to move your body or work out, even for just 15-30 minutes every other day, can positively influence your overall health.

Getting the heart pumping with some moderate-intensity exercises, works the muscles (both internally and externally) and is a great way to get your movement in for the day, whether it’s a Zumba session or cycling with an indoor machine.

4. Cut down on salt

We all love salt – who doesn’t, right? But it’s the silent killer that we have no idea how it’s affecting our bodies until we do an EKG. Live Science reports that “Excess sodium increases blood pressure because it holds excess fluid in the body, and that creates an added burden on the heart. Too much sodium will increase your risk of stroke, heart failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer and kidney disease.”

So with this being said, saving your salt usage for just cooking may help keep your ticker ticking long term (and also help decrease that craving for extras at the dinner table)!

5. Eating heart-healthy foods

This is the easiest way to improve your heart health. All you have to do is avoid the junk, that means no processed food. Keep it simple, and keep it heart healthy with Omega-3 fatty acids.

These are just some of the best ways to improve and maintain your heart health naturally.

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