The Path to a Healthy Heart

We’ve found the simplest, most powerful steps you can take — without adding more jobs to your to-do list or

We’ve found the simplest, most powerful steps you can take — without adding more jobs to your to-do list or expenses to your monthly budget — to protect your heart the way nature intended.

Heart-smart living can be as simple as laughing at a bad situation rather than getting angry. It means going for walks after dinner, not watching game shows or sports. It means having an apple for dessert rather than apple pie, or spending 15 minutes sipping a cup of homemade cocoa curled up on the sofa with your spouse instead of watching the 11 o’clock news with a bag of chips. It’s doing a 5-minutes-a-day strength-training program while the coffee perks in the morning or taking a 3-second meditative pause when the “you’ve got mail” alert sounds on your computer.

Our message: At a cost of no more than 30 minutes a day, you can take powerful, scientifically proven steps to overcome the biggest heart threats out there, including tummy fat, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, inflammation, free radicals, and a host of factors researchers are still striving to understand, such as homocysteine and a cholesterol particle called LP(a).

Here’s the plan that lets you take them all on and win.

[step-list-wrapper title=”” time=””] [step-item number=”1. ” image_url=”” title=”Focus on Small Changes for Big Results” ]Fast, simple diet swaps can cut cholesterol by 30 percent. A 5-minutes-a-day weight-training program can replace 10 years’ worth of lost muscle tissue. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”2. ” image_url=”” title=”Conquer Sitting Disease” ]Americans spend 22 hours a day sitting or lying down, yet our bodies are built for lots and lots of daily activity. We’ll show you how to build healthy movement back into your life, no matter how jam-packed your days are. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”3. ” image_url=”” title=”Eat Fresh Foods” ]Fresh, whole foods don’t have to cost more or take more time to prepare than the packaged stuff. These wholesome, delicious edibles — fresh fruits and veggies, grains, fish, meats, dairy products, and even soy — not only taste good, they also protect your heart by slashing blood fats, driving down elevated blood sugar, cooling off inflammation, and fighting destructive free radicals. We’ll show you the easiest way to start eating healthier foods and fewer foods from a box. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”4. ” image_url=”” title=” Know Your Numbers” ]You want results? You can track your success by keeping tabs on six crucial numbers. All adult Americans should know where they stand with regard to these numbers, but virtually none do. You may be surprised by the list, both what’s on it and what’s not. For help sticking with the program, we’ll also tell you which four things to monitor on a daily basis — a task that should take about 30 seconds each evening. It’s that simple. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”5. ” image_url=”” title=”Avoid Toxins” ]From tobacco to trans fats, sugar to environmental pollutants, the “toxins” we allow to enter our bodies seem to wreak havoc with our hearts first. Your body doesn’t have to be a Superfund site. We’ll show you how to clean it up. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”6. ” image_url=”” title=” Find Joy” ]A growing stack of research links hostility, impatience, and holding grudges with poor heart health; in contrast, forgiveness, friends, and optimism are linked with healthier hearts. Do you have a heart-threatening personality type? Find out — and learn how to live a more joyful life. [/step-item]

[sale-item img=”” title=”30 Minutes a Day to a Healthy Heart” price=”31.96″ link=””]


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Originally Published in Reader's Digest