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3 tips for taking care of your heart

| Healthy You | Heart Health

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Keep your heart in good shape.

Your heart is at the core of your well-being. Taking care of it is essential for a long and healthy life. Luckily, there are several simple and effective steps you can take to keep it in good shape. 

Tip 1: Know your numbers 

Knowing and understanding your vital stats can help you set goals to lower your risk of heart concerns.  

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes are all risk factors for heart disease. That’s why it’s important to know your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar.  

Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider can help you monitor these numbers and take action to maintain a healthy heart. 

“Scientific evidence shows that consistent physical activity and adopting a heart-healthy diet can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels,” says Bing Yue, MD, PeaceHealth cardiologist. 

Tip 2: Get active 

Regularly moving your body is the basis of heart health. Exercise strengthens the heart muscle, helps you maintain a healthy weight and lowers blood pressure. It also promotes good blood flow in your circulatory system.  

Try to get about 30 minutes of activity a day. It can be more or less depending on what your healthcare provider recommends. Find activities you enjoy so you can make exercise a regular part of your routine. It could include walking, jogging, swimming, biking or classes like yoga and aerobics. Your local community center is a good place to start.  

Tip 3: Cut out unhealthy foods and sugary drinks 

Your diet plays a big role in heart health. To protect your heart, limit foods high in saturated and trans fats, as well as added sugars. Instead, eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats like those found in nuts, olive oil and salmon.  

“Saturated and trans fats have been shown to be harmful and increase risk of cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Yue says. 

Avoid processed foods, which often contain hidden salt and unhealthy fats. Sugary beverages like sodas and fruit juices also should be a very occasional treat since they can make you gain weight and increase your risk of heart disease. 

Small changes can lead to big results when it comes to your heart health. By following these three simple yet powerful tips, you can give your heart the love and care it deserves. 

portrait of Bing Yue MD

Bing Yue MD

Internal Medicine
Bing Yue, MD, moved to the Pacific Northwest after completing his residency and working as a clinical fellow in cardiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY. As a cardiologist, Dr. Yue focuses on non-invasive cardiology, echocardiography and nuclear cardiology. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Away from work, Dr. Yue enjoys spending time with family, hiking and playing table tennis.