How Can I Keep My Heart Healthy?

How Can I Keep My Heart Healthy?

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Ask The Expert

A long life requires treating your ticker right! We spoke with Life Extension Senior Wellness Specialist Dr. April Parks-McDuffie, an expert in Sport and Health Science with a focus in cardiology, about how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.


What are your top tips to maintain a healthy heart?

A: Heart health is a combination of choices you make and genetics. You can’t change your family history, but you can improve your chances with a heart-healthy lifestyle. This means not smoking, getting quality sleep, staying active along with a regular exercise routine, eating a nutritious diet, taking supplements, as well as seeing your doctor regularly and taking necessary medications.


How can you tell whether you’re in good cardiovascular shape?

A: There’s more to heart health than what meets the eye! That’s why it’s important to regularly evaluate your health status and get check-ups. You may be able to run up a flight of stairs without getting short of breath and even have that perfect beach body, but you need to take the proper tests, including C-reactive protein, which is a marker for inflammation, to understand your cardiovascular profile. That being said, if you can’t walk up a flight of stairs easily, make that appointment sooner rather than later.


What nutrients are important for heart health?

A: My top pick would be getting enough of the nutrient CoQ10, which has many heart health benefits. It’s important to get enough vitamin K to help support a healthy calcium balance in the bloodstream. I also suggest niacin and pomegranate to people who want to stay heart-healthy and support the cardiovascular system.


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Dr. April Parks


Dr. April Parks is an Exercise Physiologist and a Senior Wellness Specialist at Life Extension. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at Savannah State University and her Master of Science in Exercise Physiology at Life University before attending the Windsor University School of Medicine.