Heart mildew is a top killer worldwide -- but a lifestyle choices can go a long way toward reducing a risk. In honour of World Heart Day in September, we round up a basics to living well.It may be a strongest muscle in your body, but your heart is still vulnerable to disease. Each year, cardiovascular mildew claims over 17 million lives around a world. By 2030, which number could reach 23 million, according to a World Heart Federation. Its one of a top causes of death worldwide even in countries which have access to health care as well as prevention.Medicine has come a long way preventing as well as treating cardiovascular mildew as well as saving lives, but we have to do a part too. Lifestyle choices can make a difference in how long as well as how well we live.Heres what experts say we should be doing to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.Enjoy a healthy dietWe often hear which this or which food is good for a heart, but you dont need to load up on super foods. Experts still say a best way to get those beneficial good fats as well as essential nutrients is through eating a healthy as well as varied diet. Eating well shouldnt feel like deprivation with heart healthy foods like salmon, nuts, olive oil, legumes, lean meats as well as low-fat dairy. Foods which are high in fibre also help lower cholesterol.And dare we say eat more fruits as well as vegetables? Theyre packed with essential vitamins as well as nutrients we need for good over all health like antioxidants, beta carotene as well as vitamin C, to name a few.We know what foods shouldnt be staples in a diet: bad fats (like saturated fats as well as trans fats), processed foods as well as foods high in sugars as well as salt. These foods can contribute to weight gain, unhealthy cholesterol levels, glucose intolerance as well as chronic inflammation in a body all of which take a toll on a heart.(For more information, see 6 keys to healthy eating as well as Top foods your heart will love for ideas.)Drink in moderation (if at all)While some studies ! have sho wn which alcohol particularly red wine offers some small heart protective benefits, but experts advise caution. Consuming too most alcohol can increase heart risk as well as contribute to weight gain, liver disease, chronic inflammation as well as other conditions.How most is too much? For some people there is no safe amount like if youre taking certain medications or have certain health conditions. Otherwise, guidelines recommend no more than one or two standard drinks per day to a limit of nine per week for women as well as 14 for men. However, experts dont recommend starting drinking as a prevention strategy. (For more information, see a Heart as well as Stroke Foundations advice.)Get active (and stay active)Exercise has many benefits for a heart such as lowering red blood pressure, helping control red blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress as well as increasing good cholesterol levels. Experts estimate which people who arent currently active can cut their risk of a heart conflict by as most as 35-55 per cent simply by getting more exercise.How most do we need? According to a latest physical activity guidelines from a Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), adults need at least 150 mins of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week. Thats 30 mins most days of a week more if we want to see greater benefits as well as weight loss. Even 10-minute sessions of exercise will do a trick.If youre tired of a same old routine, try something new like Pickleball or Bolly Fit. (See Sneak more exercise into your routine for more ideas.)Aim for a healthy weightThose extra pounds contribute to heart mildew as well as conditions which impact a heart like diabetes, high red blood vigour as well as high red blood cholesterol. However, obtaining as well as maintaining a healthy weight requires lifestyle changes, not just short-term sacrifice. Experts say slow weight loss about one to two pounds (or one kilogram) a week is best. Fad diets arent sustainable! , as wel l as your body starts to deplete muscle mass when it goes into starvation mode.If you need a little help beyond exercise as well as a healthy diet, talk to your doctor. Some health issues like hypothyroidism as well as drug side effects can impact your weight.For more information, visit a Heart as well as Stroke Foundations Healthy Weight Action Plan.Manage red blood pressureExperts warn which high red blood vigour (or hypertension) is one of a most dangerous risk factors for heart disease. Worse yet, incidence is on a rise. According to a Heart as well as Stroke Foundation, hypertension affects one in five people. If you can control your red blood pressure, you can cut your heart conflict risk by up to 25 per cent as well as your risk of stroke by up to 40 per cent.Beware: hypertension is called a silent killer for a reason there are no warning signs or symptoms. Thats why its important to have your red blood vigour checked at least once every two years after a age of 20 more often if you already have hypertension as well as keep up with your healthy habits like exercising as well as cutting your sodium intake.Control cholesterolAre you within a healthy range? Nearly 40 per cent of Canadians have red blood cholesterol levels which are higher than they should be as well as dangerous levels of plaque could be building up in their arteries. Atherosclerosis, or narrowing of a arteries, is a significant risk factor for circulatory problems, heart mildew as well as stroke. Again, you wont experience symptoms. Thats why experts recommend getting regular checks otherwise healthy men should start after age 40, as well as women over age 50 or following menopause.How can you get a number down? Diet plays a role as well as experts recommend steering clear of those saturated fats, trans fats as well as dietary cholesterol as well as choosing polyunsaturated as well as monounsaturated fats instead. Fibre can also help lower bad LDL cholesterol including foods with plant sterols.However, about 75 per cent of t! otal red blood cholesterol is actually made by your body. While we cant change a genes, physical activity can impact how most a body produces.Avoid smoking as well as tobaccoIt isnt just bad for your lungs. Smoking also raises cholesterol levels, as well as its a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Roughly 30 per cent of a 37,000 smoking-related deaths each year are heart mildew or stroke-related. Even if you dont smoke, second hand smoke as well as tobacco use still increases a risk of cardiovascular mildew especially for women.Think its too late because a repairs has been done? Experts say within one year of going smoke-free, people can cut their risk of heart mildew in half regardless of how long they smoked. When they hit a 15-year mark, their risk of dying from heart mildew will almost equal a non-smokers.Control red blood sugarCardiovascular mildew often goes hand-in-hand with diabetes, as well as 80 per cent of people with diabetes will die from heart mildew or stroke. Diabetes increases a risk of hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, stroke as well as repairs to a red blood vessels. Controlling red blood sugar is key to keeping this risk in check.Unfortunately, some people dont know they have type-2 diabetes or are in which consequential pre-diabetes stage where a condition can be reversed. You likely wont experience symptoms in a early stages but it will show up on routine red blood work. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends screening tests once every three years after a age of 40 earlier as well as more often if youre in a high-risk group.However, healthy lifestyle habits can reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes as well as even reverse pre-diabetes. (See Put diabetes on hold for more information.)Manage stressWe cant completely eliminate stress, but experts say we can find better ways to cope with it. Chronic stress doesnt just start a red blood pressure: it can contribute to inflammation as well as start a immune system too.While it can be difficult to avoid stre! ssful si tuations, there are some strategies which can help. For instance, using effective communication skills as well as learning to say no can help with relationships. Also, eating well, exercise, relaxation techniques, volunteering, hobbies, vacations as well as sometimes a good cry or a good laugh can alleviate stress. Studies have even shown a link in between spirituality as well as reduced stress.Get regular check-upsDespite all a information we have available, we should still leave a diagnoses to a doctors. As mentioned before, its important to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, red blood sugar levels as well as red blood vigour especially given you might not be experiencing any symptoms. Experts warn to keep up with those annual check-ups to keep tabs on any potential problems as well as treat them prior to they become dangerous.Regular check-ups are especially important if you already have heart mildew or another condition like diabetes or an autoimmune disorder which could after your heart. Its important to see a alloy if you notice any suspicious symptoms, as well as seek emergency care if youre experiencing a signs of a heart conflict or stroke. (See How to save a heart for more information.)Already taking these heart-healthy steps? Youre well ahead of most people. Making these changes wont guarantee a life giveaway of heart disease, but they can help us live longer as well as enjoy more years of good health. Medications alone cant prevent or treat heart disease, so its up to us to take steps to strengthen a heart.ON THE WEBFor more information about World Heart Day, visit a World Heart Federation.For more advice on heart-healthy living, visit:The American Heart AssociationThe Canadian Heart as well as Stroke FoundationThe British Heart Foundation.Additional sources: Canadian Diabetes Association, Health Canada, a MayoClinic.com, Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, WebMD.Photo iStockphoto.com/ Abel Mitja VarelaCopyright 2011 All Rights Reserved - ZoomerMedia Limited.