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The Doctors on maintaining a healthy heart
The Doctors on maintaining a healthy heart: These simple steps will help keep your heart pumping.
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Try these 3 simple steps to lower your risk. / Jamie Grill, Getty Images


Fact: Making a few lifestyle changes can prevent heart disease, and yet it remains the No. 1 killer in the United States. The American Heart Association wants to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% as well as reduce heart-related deaths and stroke by 20% — all by the year 2020.

It's possible, they say, if adults don't smoke, maintain a healthy weight, eat right, exercise and keep cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar in check. Studies show adopting those strategies can cut your risk of premature death in half.

Start with these steps:

Eat more fruit and veggies. An analysis of studies showed that consuming more than five servings of fruits and vegetables every day can lower the risk of heart disease by 20%.

Avoid sugary drinks. Studies show that overconsumption of such beverages has led to more diabetes and heart disease over the past decade.

Lift weights. Resistance training can help reduce blood pressure as much as 20%.

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