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How to Love Your Heart in 5 Steps

It’s February, and romance is in the air… so, show your heart some love by keeping 5 things in mind.

“Make an investment for your heart and keep it consistent,” Itchhaporia, M.D., M.A.C.C., F.A.H.A., F.E.S.C., Eric & Sheila Samson Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Health and medical director of congestive heart failure and telemetry programs. “Keeping your heart healthy is not difficult, but it does take intention.”

Have questions about keeping your ticker ticking? Make an appointment with your primary care physician at

Dr. Itchhaporia recommends:

Eat Healthy. Healthy fats. Whole grains. Plenty of fruits and vegetables. What you eat can affect your weight, hormones and the health of your heart. So choose what crosses your lips wisely.



Stay Active. Aerobic exercise gets that heart pumping, which burns calories and keeps your heart healthy. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, cycling, running, dancing or swimming four to six times a week.



Crush that butt. It only takes three weeks after quitting smoking for your blood flow to improve and your risk of heart disease to decrease. After one year, your risk goes down 50%. After 5 years, your odds are about the same as someone who never smoked!



Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. High cholesterol and blood pressure increase your risk of heart disease, but both can be lowered through diet, exercise and smoking cessation. If those methods alone don’t do the trick, your doctor may prescribe medications to help regulate your cholesterol and lower your blood pressure.



Manage stress. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, insomnia and the onset of bad eating habits – all of which spell trouble for the heart. Reduce your stress through exercise, socializing, meditation and taking time for yourself. After all, it is the month of romance. Time to show a little love for your own heart, too!