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Heart health starts now

Caring about your heart health does not begin when you receive an unfavorable diagnosis, begin having health complications or even as you get older. It starts now.

According to Dr. Alexandra Ward, Riverside Health System cardiology specialist, heart health begins with prevention, and prevention begins now.

“The sooner the better,” said Ward.

Eating a heart-healthy diet, including whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits, exercising 30 minutes per day and not smoking are the best ways to prevent heart disease, according to Ward.

Exercise does not have to be as intense as going for a run. Even a simple, but brisk, 30-minute walk that gets the heart rate up is satisfactory for the exercise requirement, said Ward.

Knowing the signs for heart disease risk is also important for prevention. Having high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking and family history of heart disease are all heart health risks. Being aware of your numbers, having a yearly physical and communic...

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