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In a recent nationally conducted CAHPS survey only 10.4% of you reported that you smoke and only 6.6% reported they smoke every day. These are the lowest rates ever reported by CHP members. Compare this to the national average of 19.3% as reported in the January 2012 Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Heart Health

Note: This article is over 60 days old, and may contain information that is out of date, or has been superseded by newer information.

The heart pumps around 2,000 gallons of blood as it expands and deflates 100,000 times a day. That is why keeping the heart healthy is vital.

Based on data from the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans. Heart disease represents a group of diseases including: angina (chest pain caused by too little
blood and oxygen), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rates), congestive heart failure (the heart’s inability to provide blood flow effectively), and heart attack (the blood supply is cut off from a part of the heart).
There are numerous ways to prevent heart disease and lead a healthy lifestyle: monitor your blood pressure regularly, don’t smoke and lower stress. The American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure of less than 120/80 for non-diabetic adults and less than 130/80 for diabetics. To lower chances of heart diseases stop smoking immediately. Finding effective ways to handling stress is also beneficial to healthy living. Stress leads to higher levels of certain hormones, which may result in high blood pressure, and then heart disease.

Eating and exercise go hand in hand when talking about preventing heart disease and keeping your heart healthy. Here are a few simple things that one can do every day:

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
• Drive to the end of the parking lot and walk to an entrance
• Turn regular cleaning moments into heart moments by designating one day out of the week to clean your entire house
• If you ride the bus, try getting off a stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way
• Find a hobby outside that requires some level of physical activity

There are also foods that help regulate good heart flow, and lend a hand with good cholesterol and blood pressure:

• Black Beans
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Red Wine
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Walnuts
• Almonds
• Oranges
• Sweet Potatoes
• Carrots