Tips to Lead a Heart-Healthy Life

Do you know if you’re at risk for heart disease? Do you know what steps you should take to stay heart healthy? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is, unfortunately, the leading cause of death for men, women and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States. The good news is there are ways to lead a heart-healthy life that could reduce your risk of developing heart disease. In recognition of American Heart Month, check out these ten tips to lead a heart-healthy life.

Heart-Healthy Tips
  1. Know your health history: Your family history may hold important clues about your level of risk, and you should discuss these factors with your primary care provider.
  2. Take your medications as directed: When patients with chronic conditions, such as heart disease, do not take their medications as directed, the repercussion can be severe.
  3. Eat a healthy diet: You should eat more fruits and vegetables, limit unhealthy fats, select whole grains, and choose low-fat protein sources.
  4. Rethink your drink: Sugary drinks contain unneeded calories and are the number one source of added sugars in our diet. Opt for water instead!
  5. Move more, sit less: Moving is good for you, even in small amounts, a variety of exercise is helpful. Sitting for too long is actually harmful to your health.
  6. Quit smoking cigarettes: It’s one of the best things you can do to improve your health and add years to your life. It’s not easy – but you can do it!
  7. Practice good dental hygiene: The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. And don’t forget your gums – flossing is important.
  8. Get enough sleep: Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
  9. Manage stress levels: Psychological fears can contribute to cardiac risk, so it’s important to manage your stress levels by getting enough sleep, exercising and learning relaxation techniques.
  10. Celebrate the wins!: Take a moment each day to reflect on and acknowledge the good things in your life. If you are angry or upset, this can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Part of being well is being heard.