Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women, and some medical conditions can put people at even higher risk. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your heart health—and it’s never too early, or too late, to get started.
1. Exercise Regularly
“The heart is a pump,” says Sanul Corrielus, M.D,. a cardiologist affiliated with Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “The more we exercise, the stronger and more efficient our heart gets.”
The key to exercise is to keep it up over the course of your life. Corrielus says you should be, “exercising at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, to help maintain a healthy weight and manage stress.” If you haven’t been exercising that much, start small, with 10- to 15-minute power walks and build from there.