The road to heart health is paved with small, realistic goals. There are some risk factors that you might be born with, but there are lots of other factors that you can control with your behavior. The good news is that there's a lot you can do on your own without special treatments or expensive medications. Although you can't control everything, you can feel good about taking steps to reduce your risks and improve your health.
1. Stop Smoking
The toxins from
can damage your heart. When you quit, you immediately begin reducing your heart disease risk.
2. Switch - Gradually - to a Heart-Healthy Diet
Switching to a heart-healthy diet has a better chance of succeeding if you make changes gradually. You can start by saying no to seconds, avoiding buffets, or eating smaller, more frequent meals.
3. Get Moving
While taking care of your heart is often about cutting things out, the solution to a sedentary lifestyle is to add something to your life: exercise. Talking walks is a great way to get started.
4. Stay Calm and Rested
is normal, but a constant barrage of bad news heaped on top of whatever difficult life issues you may be facing can adversely affect you and your heart. Finding peace in your life, even if it's only for a few moments, is excellent medicine.
5. Stay Checked Out
Heart disease is often associated with other chronic illnesses, including diabetes. By regularly monitoring them with your doctor, you do your heart a favor. In return, your healthy heart will help prevent chronic diseases and reduce their impact.
If you want to get an idea of what your heart disease risk is, check out our
HeartAware Risk Assessment
, and follow up with a discussion with your doctor.
For more tips and information, check out the