"It's important that everyone understand as much as possible
about heart disease prevention, as 80 percent of heart disease can
be avoided," says Dr. Martha Grogan, medical editor-in-chief of the
new book "Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life!"
Heart disease claims the lives of 600,000 Americans each year,
and another 12.7 million suffer from heart attacks. One in three
women are diagnosed with heart disease and 50 percent of men are at
risk of heart attacks before age 65. Those statistics may make you
feel like you, too, are in the cross-hairs for developing heart
disease. Some lifestyle changes, however, can help you greatly
reduce your risks.
In the new book, available now online and in bookstores
nationwide, Mayo Clinic experts discuss risk factors for heart
disease, how to recognize the symptoms, and what lifestyle steps you
can take to help reduce your risk. The catchphrase "Eat 5, Move 10,
Sleep 8" sums up the approach Mayo experts advocate to minimize
heart disease risks. The slogan reminds you to eat five servings of
fruits and vegetables each day, do at least 10 minutes of moderately
intense physical exercise daily, and get at least eight hours of
sleep per night.
In addition, Mayo experts say, 10 simple steps can help you
minimize your risk of heart disease. Here's a sampling of the steps
that you'll find in the clinic's new heart healthy book:
Eat healthy --
Adopt simple dietary changes such as eating at least five fruits
and vegetables each day, switching to whole grains and lean
proteins, and eating a healthy breakfast every day.
Be active -- A
sedentary lifestyle is as deadly as smoking, experts say.
Exercising just 10 minutes a day can deliver significant
heart-health benefits. Have trouble sticking with an exercise
plan? Finding something you enjoy doing, whether it's playing a
sport, running, tai chi, yoga or extreme house cleaning, can
help you maintain your commitment to exercising.
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Sleep well --
Sleep deprivation has serious health repercussions, including
increasing your risk of heart disease. Conversely, getting
adequate sleep can actually have a restorative effect on the
heart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says sleep
deprivation has become a national public health epidemic.
Creating a bedtime routine and a relaxing sleep environment can
help you get the eight hours of sleep per night that your body
emergencies -- A heart emergency can happen at any time, so it's
important to know the warning signs of a problem. Learn to
recognize symptoms of a crisis, and act quickly to get medical
Enjoy life -- A positive attitude,
supportive network of family and friends, and good management of
your stress not only improve your heart health, they can improve
your overall enjoyment of life, as well.
In addition to offering solid advice and the 10 steps to heart
health, the "Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life!" also discusses how
the heart functions, what can go wrong, tools for ongoing heart
health, and tips on how to keep your whole family heart healthy.
"Following these steps can help you dramatically reduce your risk
of heart disease, even though it can't be completely eliminated,"
Grogan says. "If you've done everything in your power to prevent
heart disease or live with it as effectively as possible, then you
have, indeed, conquered it."
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