This content is sponsored by CentraCare.

In the U.S., one in every four deaths is attributed to heart disease. While in Minnesota we fare slightly better than this statistic, the fact still remains that heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in our state. Dr. Chip Martin, cardiologist at CentraCare Health, shares important information and tips for keeping your heart healthy this year.

There are many steps you can take to keep your heart healthy and this applies to all ages. In fact starting healthy habits when we’re young will make it easier to continue these behaviors, as you get older. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

· Get plenty of sleep: A lack of sleep can put you at higher risk for a number of health problems, including cardiovascular disease. So make sleep a priority and aim to get between 7-8 hours of sleep most nights.

· Avoid tobacco in all forms: Using tobacco of any kind – smoking, breathing secondhand smoke or using chewing tobacco – can damage your heart and blood vessels. So if you use tobacco, we can help you quit. And once you do, your health will improve dramatically.

· Stay away from trans fats: The truth is, we need fats in our diets, including both saturated and unsaturated fats. But what we don’t need is trans fats, which are often found in processed foods, many snacks, fried fast food and margarines. So be sure to read food labels and avoid foods that have trans fats or hydrogenated oils.

· Stay active: One of the best ways to keep your heart health is to live an active lifestyle. Most people already know this, but it’s not always easy to do especially when life gets busy. So start by setting a goal of 30 minutes of activity each day. This can include walking the dog, gardening and even taking the stairs. You’ll find that by incorporating more activity into your daily routine, you’ll actually have more energy and your heart will thank you.

Feeling Good Minnesota is powered by CentraCare Health.