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February 11, 2011 > Be Kind to Your Heart on Valentine's Day

Be Kind to Your Heart on Valentine's Day

Submitted By Johnny Ng

Valentine's Day is upon us and February is American Heart Health month. This is a great time to celebrate your heart and recognize how hard it works for you.

Show your heart some love now and throughout the rest of your life with these five simple healthy tips from Marc Jaffe, MD, Clinical Leader, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Program:

Be sweet: Instead of chocolate, try blueberries or strawberries. These heart healthy treats are filled with natural antioxidants that can help keep your arteries open.

Move to the beat: Grab a partner and do some fancy footwork. Any activity that gets you moving-like dancing or walking-can help increase blood circulation, reduce stress, and protect your heart (join the Every Body Walk! campaign - www.everybodywalk.org).

Do your thing: Activities like painting, writing, yoga, and meditation can help slow your heart and breathing rates and lower your blood pressure, all of which are good for your body and your heart.

Avoid Tobacco: If you do smoke, join a support group to help you quit and talk to your doctor about medications that can help increase your chances of kicking the habit. If you don't smoke, then avoiding second hand smoke may also help protect your heart, lungs, and blood vessels.

Maintain a healthy weight: If you are overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can make a difference and lower your risk of heart problems.

Living a healthy lifestyle can help your heart stay strong, so you can live-and love-for years to come.

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