I'm going to share with you my easy ways to keep blood pressure in check that in turn supports good heart health.

No, I'm not the other Dr. Phil, but I know this for sure: start hugging more, whether it's with other people or your pet.

Science is on my side with this one. Laugh a lot more than you already are. Laugh with friends or by watching shows. You live near the nation's No. 1 seaport, so eat fresh fish two or three times a week. Eat more bananas, especially if you have a hangover. And remember to eat the rainbow: natural red, blue, purple, orange, yellow, green, brown and white fresh foods, with homemade legume dishes. Do you like dark chocolate? It's really good for you in moderation. That includes a dark chocolate-covered strawberry or cherry for the 14th of February.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, here's a love note for you: drinking water at the right time maximizes its benefits on your heart and body. Get into the habit of drinking two glasses of water when you wake up to activate your inner organs. I add a little Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother, and it's like rocket fuel. Drink a glass of water before you eat for better digestion and drink one just before going into the shower. I know, you just gave me the look. Drinking water before taking a shower prevents high blood pressure. And if you drink a glass of water before bed, it helps prevent a stroke or heart attack.

And finally, right this moment, take a nice deep, deep breath and try exhaling it a bit slower than you normally would. Do it again. One more will do the trick, I promise.

Life comes around once, so let go of the stress and do things that make you happy, and hang more with people who make you smile. *MUAH!!*

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.



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