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It's simple to maintain a healthy heart. Stay on the right track with these quick-hit heart-healthy tips. Free Heart Screenings are offered at the Sparrow Heart & Vascular center every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon by appointment.  Call 1.800.Sparrow to set one up today.

 Eat a healthy diet

Make smart, healthy choices to reduce your risk of heart disease. Good health starts with good nutrition.  Eat a good balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish. 

 Exercise regularly

Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least three days a week.  The survival rate for heart attack victims is higher for those who exercise regularly. 

 Don't smoke

Smoking damages blood vessels and can make them thicken and grow narrower.  This makes your heart beat faster and your blood pressure go up.  Quitting smoking reduces your risk of heart disease by 50 percent in the first year. Sparrow Michigan Athletic Club can make physical activity fun for the whole family!

 Lose weight

If you are overweight, losing just 10 percent of your body weight can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also reduce your risk of developing other diseases as well as increase your quality of life. 

 Control cholesterol

Cholesterol promotes the build up of plaque in blood vessels reducing blood flow to the heart muscle.  You can lower cholesterol levels through healthy eating and a regular exercise program. 

 Control blood pressure

About 69 percent of people who have a heart attack have high blood pressure.  Losing weight, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and quitting smoking help moderate blood pressure.