1. Don’t smoke: If you smoke, find a way to quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is toxic to every organ system in the body.
2. Eat healthy: Fruits and vegetables, complex carbs and foods containing omega-3 keep the doctor away.
3. Avoid sugar: Sugar tastes great, but it reeks havoc on the body by causing inflammation, weight gain and a host of other issues.
4. Maintain an ideal body weight: Watch your waist. A spare tire puts you at higher risk for cardiovascular disease than fat deposits in the lower body around the hips and thighs.
5. Control blood sugar: At any given cholesterol level, diabetics have up to a 3 times higher rate of atherosclerosis disease, which causes fatty plaque in blood vessels that restricts bloodflow.
6. Reduce stress: Stress kills. Turn off your phone, walk away from the computer and disconnect by gardening, walking, chatting with a friend or listening to music.
7. Get Moving: Exercise decreases blood pressure, body fat and diabetes risk, improves lipids, and energy levels, gives stress relief and lessens depression.
8. Get your ZZZs: Relax your mind an hour before bedtime, dim the lights and don’t look at electronics. Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
9. Reduce alcohol consumption: Limit intake to one serving for women and two for men; alcohol dilates blood vessels and is an antioxidant. Drinking more than that elevates blood pressure.
10. Monitor & control lipids: These fatty acids, which include cholesterol, provide info about underlying risks of inflammation in your arteries and heart disease.