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According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, staying fit and healthy during your 20s and 30s may be one of the best ways to avoid heart disease during old age. When researchers tracked the health of 4,400 young men and women over a 15-year period, they found that the fittest individuals had up to half the risk of cardiovascular problems as they got older. You already know cardio is good for your heart. But here are a dozen other ways to avoid heart disease without even breaking a sweat.

  • Rent Cabin Fever. Scary flicks that cause your heart to skip a beat also help make it stronger.
  • Spend 20 minutes relaxing with your iPod. Less stress equals a healthier heart.
  • Avoid secondhand smoke and car exhaust. You'll cut your heart-disease risk by nearly a third.
  • Eat breakfast every day. It'll lower your risk of obesity by nearly 50%--and that keeps your heart healthy.
  • Don't drink more than four cups of coffee a day--even decaf. Java may increase levels of heart-damaging homocysteine in the blood.
  • Join a league. Besides the extra exercise, camaraderie is a proven way to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Stay positive. Happy men have half the heart problems of unhappy guys.
  • Brush your teeth more often. High levels of oral bacteria are known to contribute to heart problems.
  • Add frozen berries to your smoothies. They contain salicylic acid--the same heart protectant found in aspirin.
  • Wash your hands--even if the bathroom is empty. You'll avoid infection, keeping artery-clogging antibodies out of your bloodstream.
  • Knock off the late nights. Getting less than five hours of sleep a night ups heart-disease risk by nearly 40%.
  • Toast your health. Swilling a couple of drinks every other day could lower your chances of heart disease by up to 30%.

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