NEWSWEEK – Unlike many other diseases, we can significantly lower our risk of developing heart disease through simple daily habits.
To learn more about what we can do as individuals to protect ourselves from heart disease, Newsweek spoke to Harvard cardiologist and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Physician, Dr Haider Warraich, about what he does every day to keep his heart healthy.
First up is exercise.
“I exercise five to six times a week,” Warraich, author of the book State of the Heart, told Newsweek. “I use my stationary bike for 30 minutes (and read fiction while I am at it) and then do resistance training for another 30.”
Our heart is a muscle and, like any other muscle, it gets stronger when we exercise it. Aerobic exercise—including walking, running, swimming and dancing—strengthens our heart while lowering our blood pressure and helping us maintain a healthy body weight.
The U.S. Surgeon General recommends getting 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, which can include brisk walking and cycling. Children and adolescents are recommended to get 1 hour of physical activity every day.
Next, we need to look at our diet. Not only is our diet a major contributing factor to our overall body weight, but what we eat goes a long way to either support or suppress our heart health.
“I recommend a Mediterranean diet and mostly try to have a high protein diet with little added sugars, sodium and saturated fats,” Warraich said …