According to the Lansing State Journal along with McLaren Greater Lansing, we all know how important it is to take care of your heart, and it's very important to start taking steps right now to make sure you're healthy for many years to come.

It's never too late to start taking steps to improve your heart health.  It's important to be proactive.  It's also important to talk to your primary care provider about adopting a healthier lifestyle.

McLaren Greater Lansing cardiologist David McComb, D.O., has five simple tips that can start you on the road to a healthier heart.

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Tip 1.  Get Active.  This means get off the couch and start exercising.  Health care providers recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a minimum of five times per week.  Your primary care provider can help you develop a plan that fits your abilities and lifestyle.

Tip 2.  Skip processed foods.  Dr. McComb says there can be lots of hidden sodium in what you eat.  Processed foods and fast food often come with high levels of salt already in them, which can lead to heart disease.  Everyone should focus on vegetables and lean meats like grilled fish and chicken.

Tip 3.  Cut your caffeine.  Caffeine is a stimulant that can take a toll on your heart over time and impact your heartbeat rhythm.  You should limit your caffeine consumption and avoid energy drinks altogether.

Tip 4.  Stop smoking.  Smoking is one of the main risk factors for developing heart disease.  It can accelerate the buildup of plaque in your arteries, which can cause heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease.  Your physician can help you find ways to quit smoking and take a proactive start to improve your heart health.

Tip 5.  Be mindful of stress.  Seeing a primary care provider to evaluate where stress is in your life and how you're managing it is a great first step to getting stress under control.  (LSJ)

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