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The beat goes on: Experts share their heart health tips

Written By: Andi Atkinson, UT Physicians | Updated: February 9, 2022
Heartbeat for Heart Advice

The cardiologists of UT Physicians share their advice for a healthy heart.

Would you like to know how to have a stronger heart and live a longer life? Well, no one knows better than the cardiologists at UT Physicians! For American Heart Month in February, these experts will share how they take care of their own hearts and what they advise for a lifetime of good health.


I have a 30-minute workout routine that I do four times per week, focusing on core muscle exercises (to help with wearing all that heavy lead in the cath lab!), aerobic stationary biking, and modest weight-lifting. I also pack my own lunch to work and avoid soft drinks completely.

Nils P. Johnson, MD, UT Physicians Cardiology – Texas Medical Center

We all know that diet and exercise are the key to health in general, including heart health. I read somewhere that one can’t exercise their way out of a bad diet, and I strongly believe in it. I recommend everyone to refrain from fried and processed foods and exercise regularly

Anju Bhardwaj, MD, Center for Advanced Heart Failure – Texas Medical Center

I exercise five to six times a week for one hour at a time and make sure to maintain a heart rate of at least 80% of my maximum predicted heart rate. Additionally, when the weather is allowable, I take strolls and hikes. My advice to the general public to maintain cardiovascular health is to keep moving. Every little bit helps, and it makes you feel better.

Mary Lim-Fung, DO, UT Physicians EP Heart – Complex Arrhythmia Center

Slow down when you’re by yourself and silence your mind. This raises your vagal tone and improves sympathovagal balance.

Susan T. Laing, MD, UT Physicians Cardiology – Texas Medical Center

Prevention is critical to living a long, healthy life. Since heart disease is the number one reason for death in the U.S., we should all strive to promote lifelong, healthy habits. These habits include a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, fiber, and lean sources of protein; a regular exercise routine; avoidance of tobacco smoking; and regular visits with your doctor to screen for issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Enrique D. Garcia-Sayan, MD, UT Physicians Multispecialty – Cinco Ranch

Try to stay moving throughout the day and incorporate it into activities you are already doing. For instance, park farther away from the store or take the stairs.

Deepa Raghunathan, MD, UT Physicians Multispecialty – Heights

I encourage aerobic exercise, maintaining healthy nutrition, and good quality sleep.

Viacheslav Bobovnikov, MD, UT Physicians Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery – Texas Medical Center

Eat a healthy, vegetarian diet. Work out — Peloton, swimming, etc.

Sukhdeep S. Basra, MD, Center for Advanced Cardiology – Southwest

Regular physical workouts at whatever activity you can enjoy for at least four to five times per week. My regimen consists of a 35-minute a.m. and a 45-minute p.m. work out five days a week for strength and moderate aerobic training. Food includes a small volume with adequate protein from small amounts of lean cheese, milk or meats, vegetables, non-sweet fruits, minimally refined carbohydrates or dark chocolate for strict weight control to BMI 21 and 10% body fat.

K. Lance Gould, MD, UT Physicians Cardiology – Texas Medical Center

I go for long walks a few times per week, and I do dance aerobics as well. We all know how important exercise is to keep the heart healthy, but I advise my patients who may struggle with exercising to tie it to an activity they enjoy. So, you could listen to music while you walk or even listen to an audiobook or program that you enjoy. Alternating your exercise will make it more interesting. For instance, you could alternate outdoor walks, or hiking, with joining a new dance class.

Simbo M. Chiadika, MD, UT Physicians Multispecialty – Sienna

I believe in regular exercise and a wholesome, sensible diet. I do swim regularly and now play basketball (albeit badly). I eat very little few processed foods — mostly homemade food and a well-balanced diet. I recommend the same for my patients.

Poyee P. Tung, MD, UT Physicians Cardiology – Texas Medical Center

I promote health and well-being by self-care for the mind, body, and soul. My top self-care activities include meditation, good sleep hygiene, plant-based diet, aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week, connecting with nature, walking my dog, and spending time with loved ones.

Monica Patel, MD, UT Physicians Cardiology – Texas Medical Center

As the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians has locations across the Greater Houston area to serve the community. To schedule an appointment, call 888-4UT-DOCS.