Q: What is heart-healthy exercise?
A: Any moderate-intensity physical activity that increases your heart rate and keeps it elevated for a time will benefit your heart, as well as your overall health. The current recommendation is that adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day. You don't have to do it all at one time though. You can break it into shorter periods (at least 10 minutes each) throughout the day. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Q: What does a heart-healthy diet include?
A: Include a variety of high-fiber whole grains (for example, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, popcorn), fruits and vegetables, low- or fat-free dairy products (milk, regular or frozen yogurt, cheese), nuts, seeds and legumes (almonds, peanuts, kidney beans), and lean meats, poultry and fish. Avoid foods that are high in salt, added sugar, and saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. Limit fats and oils to 2 to 3 servings a day, and sweets to 5 or fewer servings a week.
Q: How does aspirin help protect the heart?
A: In adults with documented heart concerns, taking aspirin regularly can lower the risk of recurrent heart attack by helping prevent blood clots from forming in the arteries of the heart. Aspirin is not appropriate for everyone, so be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen.
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