Clean Living for a Healthy Heart

Like your car, lawn-mower or household appliances, your body works best when you keep it clean. Here’s how to purge heart- damaging poisons out of your system to keep your heart running on time for years to come.

Clean Living for a Healthy HeartPhoto: ShutterStock

Ban Tobacco

Tobacco is the worst of the pollutants that cause cardiovascular disease. And lighting up not only damages your own heart and arteries; every time you expose someone else to cigarette smoke, it accelerates hardening of their arteries, too.

Smokers have a 70 per cent greater chance of dying from heart disease than people who don’t use tobacco. Overall, a smoker is two to three times more likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker. Smokers who have high blood pressure are four times more likely than non-smokers with normal blood pressure to fall victim to a heart attack. And smokers with high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol are a whopping eight times more likely to have a heart-attack than non-smokers without high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. The longer you smoke, the higher your risk; conversely, the sooner you quit, the faster your heart heals. Giving up is hard, but with nicotine replacement, modern drugs and willpower, it’s certainly not impossible.

If you care about your heart, you must stop smoking. Your doctor will help, and if you use the strategies that follow, you can be free of smoke today-and you’ll enjoy life more than ever.

Scrub Your Hands

Good hand washing requires three elements: soap, water, and friction. Using soap and water stops germs on your hands from getting into your eyes, nose or mouth, where they can multiply and pave the way for infection and heart-damaging inflammation.

Practicing good personal hygiene fights more than colds; it can keep heart disease at bay as well.

Have your Flu Shot

Being vaccinated against influenza can cut your risk of being hospitalized with heart disease-related problems and reduce your risk of having a heart attack if you’re already in a high-risk category. Having the flu vaccine is strongly recommended for seniors and those with health conditions, such as diabetes.

Keep Your Teeth Clean

The way to your heart is through your mouth-not by way of your stomach but via your arteries. Believe it or not, bacteria from sticky dental plaque can seep through infected gums and cause problems in your circulatory system.

Having clean teeth and healthy gums will really give you something to smile about.

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