Learn about heart health, how many Americans walk as exercise and the connection between fried foods and cancer.

More baby boomers and older adults are taking a proactive approach to heart health. Living a heart-healthy lifestyle in your golden years and dealing with any type of diagnosis head-on is the smart way to keep your heart pumping strong for many years to come. Following these five easy steps can help you take control.

1. Exercise your heart by staying active.
Increasing your heart rate through daily exercise can help keep your heart healthy and help you live longer. Good heart-healthy activities include walking, swimming and bicycling. Stay motivated by exercising with a friend.

2. Eat heart-healthy foods.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are fantastic for heart health - make it your goal to eat a variety of colors every day. Whole grains and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are good choices also.

3. Consult your doctor about heart-healthy supplements.
As we age, sometimes our bodies can't absorb vitamins and minerals as well as when we were younger. Many people take vitamin D and a low-dose aspirin daily once they hit their 50s or 60s. Ask your doctor for recommendations.

4. Schedule your annual physical.
An annual physical is the cornerstone of preventative care. At your appointment, make sure you get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Have your doctor explain what those numbers mean for you.

5. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
No matter what, when it comes to the health of your heart, ask questions. If you are diagnosed with a slow heartbeat and need a pacemaker, talk with your doctor about your options and determine if a pacemaker that is approved for use in an MRI may be right for you.

Whether you want to take on your golden years with a heart-healthy outlook, or you are a child of aging parents and you want them to live a long, full life, these tips can help you reach your goals.

-- Brandpoint

Number to Know

145 million: More than 145 million adults now include walking as part of a physically active lifestyle. More than 6 in 10 people walk for transportation or for fun, relaxation, or exercise, or for activities such as walking the dog.

-- CDC Vital Signs

New Research

Researchers have found a link between the consumption of deep fried food and prostate cancer, according to a study published in the online journal The Prostate. The researchers, from the Public Health Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, said the link only appeared for those who ate deep fried foods more than once a week. While the study did not look into the cause of the link, researchers suggested that the deep frying process may cause frying oils to release cancer-causing compounds. There is also evidence that eating deep fried foods is linked to other cancers, such as breast, lung and pancreatic cancers.

-- Medicalnewstoday.com

GateHouse News Service