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According to statistics from the British Heart Foundation, 33 per cent of deaths in 2009 were caused by cardiovascular disease. One in five men and one in eight women died from coronary heart disease and associated problems such as strokes. Therefore, it makes sense to take every precaution to maintain a healthy heart and avoid the risk of premature death, particularly when there is so much that people can do to help themselves. Here are five top tips to get you started on a healthier way of life.

1. Maintain a sensible weight

Carrying excess weight puts an incredible amount of strain on your heart, so try to keep within recommended guidelines. Waistline measurement can be a strong indication of the likelihood of developing heart problems. Men are advised to keep their waistline below 37 inches, while women are advised to keep theirs below 32 inches. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and keep sweets and fatty treats to a minimum.

2. Exercise

Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise five times a week is all it takes to keep your heart on track. Moderate intensity means exercising to the point where you can just manage to hold a conversation without running out of breath. Try brisk walking, cycling, hiking or even mowing your lawn, as these are relatively easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

3. Quit smoking

quit smokingSmoking is one of the biggest factors contributing to heart disease, so anyone intent on developing a healthier heart needs to seriously consider quitting. The confirmed smoker may struggle with quitting as nicotine can seem impossible to give up, but there is plenty of help available for those who want to give it a try. Many people find it helpful to join a support group with other people in the same situation, but whether you choose this route or prefer to go it alone, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help. There are plenty of nicotine therapies that help you break the habit gently whilst reducing your nicotine intake for pain-free withdrawal from tobacco products.

4. Cut out salt

Salt is a leading culprit in causing high blood pressure and most people consume far more than the recommended amount. Apart from adding salt at the table, most ready meals, sauces and mixes are very high in salt, so be sure to check the labels on such foods. Try reduced salt options if you find it difficult to cut down, but ideally you should aim to remove salt as a table condiment altogether and try to steer clear of foods that are high in salt.

5. Avoid saturated fats

Although a healthy human diet requires a certain amount of fat, saturated fat is the villain of the fats world. Try to remove all butter, ghee, lard and coconut oil from your diet completely, choosing sunflower, rapeseed or olive oil-based spreads wherever possible. Trim fat off meat before cooking and keep your intake of cakes, biscuits, pastries and deep-fried foods to a minimum. Choose skimmed or semi-skimmed milk in place of whole milk.

With just a few small changes in your diet and lifestyle it is possible to make some big changes to the health of your heart. A proven natural supplement called Forskolin extract has also been found to aid in heart issues & hypertension. All of the above changes will have a positive impact on heart health and cholesterol levels, leading to a longer and healthier life.