• Cardiovascular

    Mayo Clinic Minute: What to do for a healthier heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart disease refers to a range of conditions, of which many can be prevented or treated by making healthy lifestyle choices.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:07) is in the downloads at the end of the post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

The average heart beats 100,000 times per day, circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body.

Dr. Demilade Adedinsewo (DEM-eee-LAH-day Ah-day-deen-SHAY-wo), a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, says that to keep the heart healthy, there are eight behaviors and numbers to keep in check.

Let's start with sleep.

"Seven to eight hours of sleep at night is recommended for ideal cardiovascular health," says Dr. Adedinsewo. "Fewer hours or poor-quality sleep can lead to physical symptoms that impact the rest of your body, including your heart."

In addition to sleep, it's important to:

  • Maintain an appropriate weight.
  • Keep Blood glucose, blood cholesterol and blood pressure within range.
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
  • Exercise.

"Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week," says Dr. Adedinsewo. "This does not necessarily have to be split up 30 minutes, five days a week, even though that's an easy way that we think about it. Really, every little thing that you do adds up."

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