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Having a heart is part of being human. We love with our hearts, we give with our hearts, we get our hearts broken and we feel it in our hearts when things are going wrong. Dr. Mehmet Oz may now be best known as a TV doctor and host of his own show, but he’s also a cardiothoracic surgeon whose specialty is keeping hearts healthy and beating. Dr. Oz has a few tips – and some surprisingly fun ones – to help improve the health of your heart. Given that heart disease is a killer, and often a silent one in African-American communities, it pays to consider doing things that can stop heart disease before it gets started, as its also in many cases, largely preventable if you take the right actions.
Here are Dr. Oz’s 5 easy and surprisingly fun tips to prevent heart disease:
Get seven hours of sleep (at least) a night. If you know a little bit about sleep hygiene, turning the lights off a little bit before you go to bed so that your brain starts making the chemicals required to go to sleep, you drop your blood pressure, and if you’re snoring and waking up your partner or even yourself, that’s a bad risk factor for heart disease so it audits your heart as well.
Come again? Orgasms at least twice a week are also good for heart health and increase your life expectancy about 3 years. I don’t want men to use that as an excuse, but the other classic line, ‘Baby, you’re killing me’ is literally true. The average married couple does it once a week, I’m asking you to double it.
Laugh a little. Laughter is one of the best medicines for your heart and your arteries so Tom Joyner is saving your life every day. When you laugh, it releases chemicals that allow the blood vessels to dilate, to widen, so there is less pressure in the heart. Without the heart having to work so hard, it lasts longer.
Drink It Up: The alcohol does get you to be more social with each other, when you talk to people you provide that safety net to each other. That’s hugely valuable. The red wine is about 10% better than other alcohols. Then you move to the clear alcohols: the vodka, the gin, the tequila. And then you get to the darker alcohols, which have chemicals in them that irritate the liver. I’m not pushing you with the red wine, some people get swollen with it. And I’m talking about one glass; I’m not talking about filling the glass up, which is a little less than some people pour.
Keep an aspirin handy. You gotta keep an aspirin around you at all times, either for yourself or someone else. It’s the first thing you do when you start feeling the symptoms of a heart attack. When you start feeling that impending sense of doom, that you’re about to go down, you pop that aspirin under your tongue or chew it. Don’t swallow it, just chew the durn thing. It thins your blood and you can save a life very quickly.