Dallas, Texas (NAPSI) - Getting on the road to a healthier lifestyle is as easy as taking better care of your heart. According to internist and researcher Dr. Steven Lamm, “Caring for your heart is one of the most important things you can do for your body, and simple steps can make a big difference.”

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death inAmerica, it’s always a good time to take steps to reduce your risk of heart disease:

1. Get plenty of exercise—at least 30 to 60 minutes most days. You don’t have to do it all at once, however; several 10-minute sessions work just as well to help lower your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure. Plus, activities such as gardening, housekeeping, taking the stairs and walking the dog all count as exercise.

2. Eat a heart-healthy diet. If you’re like most Americans, that means eating more fruits, whole grains and vegetables (five to 10 servings a day) and more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil. Try to limit the amount of red meat and fried food you eat and dairy products should be low or no fat.

3. Take aspirin to lower your risk of getting blood clots, if recommended by your doctor.

4. Try to manage stress. Deep breathing, meditation or yoga may help.

5. Take supplements. Dr. Lamm recommends the natural supplement Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all) to help maintain healthy circulation and assist blood flow. It supports healthy blood pressure and offers healthy cholesterol maintenance.

6. Don’t smoke. Even smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes are risky. Also, try to avoid secondhand smoke. The good news: Smokers who quit cut their risk of heart disease by half after a year.

7. Drink alcohol only in moderation—no more than two drinks a day for men, one a day for women.

8. Get regular checkups. Your doctor should test for high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can damage your heart and blood vessels. Diabetes is also a risk factor for heart disease.

9. Maintain a healthy weight. Reducing your weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes. Men are considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches; women, if it’s greater than 35 inches.

Learn More

Find out more about the health benefits of Pycnogenol by visiting www.pycnogenol.com.