In American culture, the heart is often spoken of as a symbol for love. However, when it comes to caring for our hearts, it seems that Americans are significantly less interested. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both women and men in the United States.

Fortunately, you can take steps to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Here are three ways to care for your heart:

1) Less Salt

Salt isn’t just bad for weight loss; too much salt can actually damage your blood vessels and can even increase the risk of high blood pressure. And your saltshaker probably isn’t to blame. More than 75 percent of sodium intake comes from processed foods and meals prepared in restaurants. Preparing foods at home allows you to know exactly how much sodium they contain.

2) More Exercise

A healthy exercise routine is key to a healthy heart. Going on a jog, walking to work or doing a few pushups on commercial break are all great ways to get your blood pumping back to your heart. The key is to find a physical activity that you enjoy and that you’ll do regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.

3) Better Music

Believe it or not, listening to music has been shown to help your heart by lowering your blood pressure. So put on your favorite record, crank it up and let those guitars fly—your heart will thank you for it. Not a music diehard? Laughter has been shown to have a similar effect, so sit down to watch a comedy every once in a while.

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