Heart disease had emerged as a leading cause of death across the world — it is responsible for almost half of all deaths by non-communicable disease (which is over 17.5 million lives every year). In addition to regular exercise, there are many things you can do to keep your heart healthy and working efficiently. Be sure to incorporate these tips below and your heart will be operating at its peak.

  • Regular exercise

One of the best ways to guard against cardiovascular disease is to keep the body moving and the heart working. Moderate exercise – just 30 minutes a day – lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol and keeps your circulatory system.

  • Get a good night’s rest

Sleep is essential to your overall health, so it’s not surprising to learn that if you don’t sleep enough, you may be at a higher risk for heart disease. Aim to get at least seven to eight hours of rest a night.

  • Don’t smoke and avoid second hand smoke

Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke. Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build up of fatty material that narrows the artery.

The risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year.

  • Floss your teeth daily

Neglecting to brush and floss can cause hardening of the arteries, according to a new study. Chronic inflammation is the telltale sign of gum disease and heart disease. How to know if you have inflamed gums? Floss – if your gums bleed, you have it. In addition to flossing, be sure to brush your teeth 2-3 times daily.

  • Avoid trans fats

Trans fat is considered by many doctors to be the worst type of fat you can eat. They are known to increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke over a lifetime. Trans fats clog your arteries, raise bad cholesterol, and lower your good cholesterol levels. By cutting them from your diet, you improve the blood flow throughout your body. So, what are trans fats? Most trans fat is formed through an industrial process that adds hydrogen to vegetable oil, which causes the oil to become solid at room temperature—be sure to check labels on your food to identify if they contain trans fats.