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The heart is one of the most important organs in the body, spreading oxygen everywhere. No matter how tough you think you are, your heart is very sensitive! Heart cells do not repair and divide the same way other cells do, so damage to your heart accumulates over your life–and can cause big problems. Unhealthy habits can end up causing problems later in your life. They come as heart diseases, such as heart attacks or high blood pressure, and are very scary. Keeping your heart healthy has been popular and trendy lately, just because of how easy it is to protect it!

First off, if you smoke, it would be a good idea for your whole body to quit the habit. Doctors all agree the best thing you can do for your heart is to quit tobacco. Smoking causes immediate damage to the arteries around your heart, making them stiffer and less flexible. The chemicals in tobacco also increase the bad cholesterol levels in your body as well, making plaque stick to your arteries, making them narrower, increasing your blood pressure. If you haven’t started smoking, please don’t! If you do, try and opt for healthier alternatives if at all, such as nicotine patches or gum. Your heart will thank you.

If you’re looking for benefits, the biggest change you can have is trying aerobic exercise. Everyone knows that cardio can help keep your heart healthy! Pumping blood through your heart helps strengthen the arteries and keeps your heart strong. Exercise also helps move blood through the body, positively affecting all your organs, including your heart. It has even been linked to a reduction in cancer and Alzheimer’s rates! To expect these significant benefits, doctors recommend a minimum of two and a half hours of any moderate exercise of your choice, per week.

Lastly, your heart cares what you feed it. Many different foods have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels, such as oatmeal and fresh fish! On the other end, new studies have shown the damage high sugar diets can have on the heart’s arteries. Opting for a plate full of fresh veggies, fruits, and lean meats rather than sugary low-quality fat meals will undoubtedly benefit your heart in the long run.