Heart Health
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20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

What do flossing, getting enough sleep and eating nuts have to do with heart health? Take this quiz to find out.

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20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 1 of 20 Correct

True or false: 80% of heart disease cases are preventable.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80 percent of heart disease deaths could be prevented by following a heart-healthy lifestyle. That means maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, not drinking too much alcohol, avoiding unhealthy foods and keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol in check.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 2 of 20 Correct

True or false: A daily aspirin can protect you from heart disease.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Aspirin reduces your blood's ability to clot and cause blockages in your arteries. For people who have never had a heart attack, aspirin reduces the risk of a first heart attack by 23%. For people with known heart disease, aspirin reduces the risk of future heart attacks by 31%. But aspirin isn't right for everyone -- who is most likely to benefit depends on age, sex and other risk factors that contribute to heart disease. Talk with your doctor about beginning an aspirin regimen.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 3 of 20 Correct

What time of the year has the highest rate of heart attacks?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Winter is worst for heart attacks. Research shows heart attacks spike during the coldest months -- actually peaking on Christmas and New Year's. Why? Cold weather causes the arteries to constrict, and blood clots form more easily in lower temps. Add to that the physical exertion of winter activities like shoveling snow and the emotional demands of the holidays, and you have a situation ripe for a heart attack.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 4 of 20 Correct

True or false: Flossing your teeth can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Flossing your teeth and other healthy dental habits can prevent the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease. This same bacteria can make its way into your blood stream and cause problems for your heart. It could even lead to heart disease. To keep your gums and your ticker healthy, brush at least twice a day and floss daily.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 5 of 20 Correct

True or false: Loud, urban noise, such as traffic noise, may increase your risk for a heart attack.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Studies have shown that chronic exposure to urban clatter can be hard on the heart. The constant clamor from traffic, construction and noisy restaurants can increase a person's chances for a heart attack. Earplugs, when they can be worn safely, can protect your ears and your heart from the noise.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 6 of 20 Correct

True or false: People who frequently work overtime are at a higher risk for a heart attack.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. People who stay after hours at the office regularly aren't doing their heart any favors. Research shows that these people have an increased risk of a heart attack and other serious heart problems. But it's not because they have less healthy eating habits or even less time for the gym -- instead, researchers say, it's because the over-workers tended to get less sleep and report to work even when they are sick. Their bodies never get a chance to recover from the grind of a busy schedule.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 7 of 20 Correct

Should you focus on raising HDL or lowering LDL?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Focus your cholesterol efforts on lowering LDL. A common misconception is that the higher the high density lipoprotein (HDL) the better, but it's actually easier to lower the LDL via diet and lifestyle changes. Reducing your LDL below 100 mg/dl can reduce your risk for heart disease dramatically -- and lower is better for this number. Get your LDL lower and even a less-than-ideal HDL will be good for your heart.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 8 of 20 Correct

Which of these foods helps lower LDL?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Oatmeal, prunes and walnuts are all good choices for lowering your LDL. Other LDL-lowering foods include oat bran, kidney beans, apples, pears, almonds and whole grains.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 9 of 20 Correct

Which of these seasonings can help your heart?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: All of the above. A powerful flavonoid found in all of these seasonings appears to hinder the production of compounds that trigger inflammation. That's great news for your heart, because inflammation increases your chances of heart disease. Other foods that fight inflammation are celery, fish oil, nuts, pineapple and leafy greens.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 10 of 20 Correct

Which of these dairy foods protects women's hearts?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Both of the above. Studies show older women who eat at least half a cup of yogurt each day have a heart-protective edge over non-yogurt eaters. The women who eat yogurt have better arterial health, and they have higher levels of HDL. It's thought that the healthy bacteria in yogurt might keep triglycerides and blood pressure low. Just be sure to reach for low-fat yogurt to keep your intake of saturated fats down. The American Heart Association recommends low-fat dairy in general as a healthy alternative to full-fat products.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 11 of 20 Correct

Which of these fish is best for getting heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Of these three options, anchovies are the best for getting heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. These pint-sized fish don't spend as much time growing before they're caught, so they don't have a lot of exposure to mercury in the water. Swordfish and mahi-mahi, both very large and long-living fish, do, so their levels of mercury tend to be very high -- dangerous, even. Resources like the Monterey Bay Aquarium can help you pick eco-friendly, sustainable and lower-mercury fish options.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 12 of 20 Correct

How many hours of sleep is ideal for optimum heart health?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Getting less than six hours of sleep or more than eight hours of sleep could be doing damage to your heart. Skimping on sleep increases arterial aging and puts you at a higher risk for a heart attack. While you sleep, your body releases serotonin (the feel-good hormone). If you don't get enough sleep, your brain doesn't have enough of the hormone either -- so you're more likely to turn to less-healthy avenues for getting the same feeling, such as eating sugary snacks or sipping on martinis.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 13 of 20 Correct

True or false: Vacations have no effect on your heart health.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. The next time you take a vacation, tell everyone you're just doing it for your heart. Taking time off regularly can cut your heart attack risk by almost a third. Can't get to the beach any time soon? That's okay. Try a mini staycation. Take long walks, rent movies, or do whatever it takes to help yourself unwind a little bit. Your heart will thank you.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 14 of 20 Correct

True or false: Boredom can lead to heart-health problems.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. A study of government workers in London found that people who reported they were bored at their job lived fewer years. Boredom itself didn't kill them, but heart troubles did -- people who were bored were less likely to take care of themselves physically and mentally, which increased their risk for heart health problems.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 15 of 20 Correct

Which of these odors can affect heart health?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Of the three, air pollution—a mix of toxic gases and particulate matter—is the greatest risk to heart health. Exposure to air pollution increases inflammation, promotes blood clotting and interferes with the heart’s normal rhythm, among other nasty effects. But high levels of indoor air pollution from sources like cooking and burning candles can also hike the risk of heart problems.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 16 of 20 Correct

True or false: Anger can damage your heart.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is true. Anger, and other negative emotions, can raise your blood pressure. The connection between emotional stress and physical stress is strong, so for the health of your heart and your mind, chill out.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 17 of 20 Correct

True or false: Single women are less likely to have heart disease than married women.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Despite not having the stress of a marriage, single women are more likely to develop risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Women in happy marriages have healthier hearts than single women and married women in unsatisfying marriages.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 18 of 20 Correct

To improve your heart health, how many calories do you need to burn each week by exercising?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: Burning just 1,000 calories each week gives your heart a helping hand and improves your cardiovascular health. This practice can significantly lower the risk of heart disease. Exercise of all kinds is great for your heart. Walk for 30 minutes several times a week, and you'll hit your 1,000-calorie mark.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 19 of 20 Correct

How many steps should you take each day to improve your heart health?

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: The magic number for better heart health is 10,000. Ten thousand steps is about five miles, and research shows walking that distance each day improves both cardiovascular health and blood sugar levels.

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Question 20 of 20 Correct

True or false: If you were very active when you were young, your heart is protected from disease and heart attacks now.

Correct! Sorry, that’s incorrect.

The correct answer is: This is false. Unfortunately, our bodies can't stockpile the wealth of good things we did for it when we were younger. If you were once active and have become sedentary, your body doesn't retain the benefits of your earlier days. Get moving again to get your ticker strong!

20 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy
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Heart Health

Heart Health

Treat your heart right by eating healthy, staying active and managing your stress. Although some heart conditions are heredity, you can reduce your risk by keeping your cholesterol and blood pressure at healthy levels, avoiding to...bacco products and losing some pounds if you are obese or overweight. A diet high in fiber, veggies and fruits is essential for a healthy heart. Vitamins and supplements, such as fish oil, may help reduce your cholesterol, which if too high can cause blockage in your arteries and lead to a heart attack. If you arteries are blocked, you may need a stent or cardiac angioplasty device to open your blood vessels, which can help prevent a heart attack. Because heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the U.S., taking care of your heart is essential for a long life. If you have a family history of heart disease, it is especially important for you to manage your hearts health. More