There are several lifestyle changes that can make a positive impact on your heart health. Incorporate these ideas into your daily life to take good care of your heart.
- Get moving. Find a physical activity that you enjoy, and get your heart rate going. Walking, swimming, yoga, dancing and gardening are just a few options. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.
- Stop smoking, or don't start. Smoking is the most important preventable cause of death. If you have trouble quitting, talk to your doctor. Nicotine replacement tools like the patch and gum can help. And many people have success with prescription medicines.
- Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet. Choose low- and nonfat dairy products, avoid fatty meats, eat a variety of fruits and vegetables and opt for whole grains over white flour products. For snack time, keep healthy foods on hand, like sliced veggies, low-fat cheese and nuts.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases strain on your heart and leads to other health problems. You can improve your heart health by losing as few as 10 pounds. Practice portion control during meals. Eating even 100 fewer calories each day will make a difference.
- Get screened and know your numbers. A heart health assessment will help you identify your risk factors and give you the information you need to improve your health long term. If your numbers don't fall within the target range, talk to your doctor.