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10 Tips To Keep Your Heart Young, According to a Cardiologist

These lifestyle habits and tweaks support a strong and healthy heart.

So many bodily functions depend on a happy and healthy heart. That's why showing this organ regular TLC is essential. We spoke with Dr. David Sabgir, cardiologist, founder of Walk with a Doc, and Avocados – Love One Today® spokesperson, who breaks down his 10 best tips to keep your heart young, healthy, and strong.

"Something I find so great about taking care of our hearts is that, as patients, you can be in control," Dr. Sabgir tells us. "With standard American diets, we know that plaque gradually begins to build up in our arteries as early as our teen years and may continue to do so every day of our life. In fact, your risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases as you age. So, the more that we can do for our bodies to support our heart early on such as prioritizing foods with unsaturated fats and fiber like avocados, the more we can set ourselves up to create positive health outcomes as we age."

Certain lifestyle tweaks can help support your long-term health and wellness goals. Dr. Sabgir breaks down 10 powerful tips to keep your heart young below. Read on to learn more, and when you're finished, check out People Swear by the 'Drunken Monkey' Exercise for Better Sleep: 'You'll Sleep Better, I Promise'.

Move your body.

active senior couple walking outdoors in the summertime on trail, demonstrating benefits of exercise one hour a week

Get up and move! Make it your goal to do a few more steps than the previous day, every day.

"Just like you can't build Rome in a day, we can't expect everyone to walk 6,000 to 8,000 or more steps daily. But we can all do better than yesterday," stresses Dr. Sabgir. "I recommend getting a pedometer so you can have some real fun with it."

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Don't smoke.

no to smoking to lead an incredibly healthy lifestyle

This one's a no-brainer, as smoking can be detrimental to your heart and overall health.

"Smoking can have negative implications on your health and can cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, and more," explains Dr. Sabgir. "Consult your doctor for an action plan to help quit."

Incorporate fresh fruits and veggies into your diet.

fresh fruits and veggies in basket, concept of volume eating tips for weight loss

Work lots of fresh fruits and veggies into your meals to ensure you're feeding your body with just the right nutrients.

"Only 10% of us get enough of these in our daily diet," says Dr. Sabgir. "Not only are they delicious but oh boy are they good for our hearts. As a cardiologist, I personally love avocados since they are essentially the only fruit with good fats, which don't raise your LDL or 'bad' cholesterol levels."

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Make lifestyle choices that encourage a healthy body weight.

woman stepping on scale, concept of how much weight to safely lose in a month

Choosing lifestyle habits that support a healthy body weight should be a top priority. Having more lean muscle mass rather than visceral fat (the dangerous kind of belly fat that surrounds your organs) can boost your health and help decrease your chances of chronic diseases, Dr. Sabgir tells us.

Get enough rest.

mature woman sleeping

Getting enough restful Z's is something to be mindful of. Do you typically get tired and hit an afternoon slump? Do you snore? Do you get headaches? These are all important questions to ask yourself, as they're potential symptoms of sleep apnea, which can lead to heart issues.

"There are many ways to treat it, but it is best to consult your doctor before making any changes," says Dr. Sabgir.

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Carve out time for social plans.

mature friends enjoying coffee at cafe

Getting social works wonders for the mind, body, soul—and heart!

"Hang out with a friend (or two)," encourages Dr. Sabgir. "This data surrounding social connection is so powerful—even for our hearts! Whether you share meals, go for walks, or pick up a new sport, social connection can further support our heart health by combining activities."

Be mindful of your blood pressure.

woman taking blood pressure

Another pro tip from Dr. Sabgir? Stay on top of your blood pressure.

"I believe knowing blood pressure is of paramount importance and I love getting updates on my patient's blood pressure while at home," he says. "There are so many ways we can fix it. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help people control their weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Foods like avocados are a healthy, nutrient-dense option."

Get some laughs.

mother and daughter laugh on couch

You've likely heard the saying before that "laughter is the best medicine"—and there's truth to it! Science says so. According to research, individuals who took part in "laughter therapy" experienced decreased inflammation and boosted heart health.

"Watch your favorite comedian or maybe share some laughs with a close friend," suggests Dr. Sabgir.

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Get outdoors.

middle-aged couple hiking, signs you're in good shape at 50

There's something so special (and refreshing!) about spending time in the good old outdoors.

"Our moms were right," says Dr. Sabgir. "Now there is more and more data backing up that being outside is so good for us, and in tandem, getting outside can help us move more."

Have something—small or big—to look forward to.

happy older woman smiling on beach

Having something to look forward to makes your efforts extra worthwhile.

"Maybe you're looking forward to a quick getaway trip or if you're like me, you're just looking forward to the smoothie you're having for lunch tomorrow," Dr. Sabgir notes. "Having something exciting around the corner is one of the three components of happiness!"

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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