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How to keep your heart healthy

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 6:57 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States according to CDC.gov.  So, what can we do to keep our hearts healthy?  Here’s Megan Cole with the story.

The heart is one of the most important organs in the body.  However, there are a number of diseases that can put the heart in jeopardy.

“Common heart issues that we see include ischemic heart disease or coronary artery disease which is blockages of your coronary arteries that causes heart attacks.  We see congestive heart failure which is when the wall of your heart doesn’t work as well as it used and it can’t pump efficiently.  We see valvular heart disease where the valves don’t work as well as they should, they either leak or they don’t open up as wide as they can.”

Dr Flynn says that there are some dietary changes people can make to have better heart health.

“Sugary drinks so sodas in particular, even large amounts of fruit juice are not necessarily good for you.  Large amounts of sports drinks are not necessarily good for you.  You know water is probably the best the more water you drink the better.  Excessive amounts of caffeine are not good for your heart and excessive alcohol intake is not good for your heart.  As far as foods that are for you again water is good and you know fruits, vegetables, avoiding processed food, sugary snacks, junk food that type of stuff.”

As far as exercise, he says you don’t have to hit the gym, you can get heart healthier right in your own home.

“Getting moving depends on your level of activity when you start you know if you’re elderly and out of shape then obviously you’re not gonna start with jogging you know you can start with doing laps around your house inside if its cold, outside if its warmer.  You know you can use your own body weight for exercise so you know doing planks, doing push ups, doing sits ups, doing squats.”

According to the Cdc.gov website, if you have chest pain or discomfort, feel weak, lightheaded or faint or have shortness of breath, call 911 as these are symptoms of a heart attack.

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