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Simple Steps For Better Health: Kick-Start A Heart-Healthy Regimen Today

September 17, 2010

Did you know that simply walking for 30 minutes a day could reduce your risk of heart disease the most common cause of death in the US by up to 40 percent? Heart disease is the number one killer worldwide. The Mayo Clinic estimates heart disease is the cause for about 40 percent of all deaths in the United States, but it is preventable. Simple steps can be taken to prevent and end the effects of heart disease everywhere: A Harvard University study found that 30 minutes of walking each day could help cut the risk of heart disease in women by 40 percent with similar results in men.

How To Help Your Heart
“A heart-healthy lifestyle doesn’t require a gym membership or buying your way into a diet plan,” says Jonathan Fong, MD, of the Venice-Ocala Heart Institute. “You only need 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day. Even that small amount of time can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease.” He also says that those 30 minutes of walking each day can improve blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart-related conditions. And as far as nutrition goes,” Dr. Fong adds, “the heart really relies on a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.”

A Short Walk Goes a Long Way for Your Health
When people walk or exercise on a regular basis, they are also preventing stroke, another common killer. Dr. Fong says the same things you can do to prevent heart disease will also help prevent a stroke. “We have a much greater understanding of how much exercise can prevent serious heart problems,” says Mateo Dayo, MD, also of the Venice-Ocala Heart Institute. Across the nation, communities are organizing local Heart Walks to promote the American Heart Association’s Start Walking Now initiative and encouraging physical activity and heart-healthy living in a fun family environment. This year more than 1 million walkers will participate in more than 450 events, raising funds to save lives from America’s number one and number three killers — heart disease and stroke. “People who are living a sedentary lifestyle can use events like the Heart Walk as an opportunity to kick-start a plan for getting healthy,” Dr. Dayo says. “The commitment you make now can result in a long, healthy life. Be assured that you’ll be joined by plenty of others with the same goal of getting healthy for their hearts.” For more information about the Start Walking Now, go to startwalkingnow.org; for more about the Venice-Ocala Heart Institute visit them online at http://www.veniceocalaheart.com.