**Your Healthy Heart: The Complete Approach** As Valentine’s Day approaches, the heart is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. And while love, both given and received, has a major effect on our overall heart health, it is just one of many elements that can lead to a long and strong life for your ticker. Some of the best habits for heart health are common sense, and quite widely acknowledged, others are a bit more obscure. Whether you know of them already or not makes them no more or less important for your health. Let’s start with some of the most obvious…diet and exercise. When it comes to diet, it is key that you consume a balanced healthy diet. What that means for you specifically will be different based on your specific dietary needs and should be discussed with your doctor, but the general consensus is that trans fats should be monitored and limited by all. An easy way to minimize your trans fat intake is to minimize your processed food intake. Eat whole foods, and feel a whole lot better. Exercise is the best form of medicine for so much of what ails us. And when it comes to the heart, it couldn’t be more true. Whether a broken heart, a stressed one, or an unhealthy one…when you start moving, you start healing. Walk, bike, swim or dance. Get your heart rate up, get your blood flowing and your heart and your doctor will thank you. Now for the slightly less well-known healthy habits. Dental hygiene…brush and floss twice a day. Gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease because it increases your risk of infections in the blood stream. The benefits of clean teeth too many to mention, but a beautiful smile and a healthy heart are top of the list! And now for the one we all love…SLEEP! Research has shown that in adults over the age of 45, getting less that 6 hours of sleep per night can make you twice as likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack. So…get some shut eye and know that your heart will thank you! It is most important to remember that taking care of your heart takes a multifaceted approach. Start with the elements above that sound easier or more attractive to you, and once you have those down your heart will be in such great shape it will be ready to tackle the others!