February 1, 2018

Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference in Heart Health

General Health

Put Your Heart Health First

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.

Men and women can make a big difference in their heart health by taking these small steps during the month of February and beyond.

  1. Schedule a visit with your doctor to talk about heart health – It’s important to schedule regular check-ups even if you think you are not sick. Partner with your doctor and health care team to set goals for improving your heart health, and don’t be afraid to ask questions and trust their advice.
  2. Add exercise to your daily routine – Start off the month by walking 15 minutes, 3 times each week. By mid-month, increase your time to 30 minutes, 3 times each week.
  3. Increase healthy eating – Cook heart-healthy meals at home at least 3 times each week and make your favorite recipe lower sodium. For example, swap out salt for fresh or dried herbs and spices.
  4. Take steps to quit smoking – If you currently smoke, quitting can cut your risk fro heart disease and stroke. Learn more at CDC’s Smoking and Tobacco website.
  5. Take medication as prescribed – Talk with your doctor about the importance of high blood pressure and cholesterol medications. If you’re having trouble taking your medicines on time or if you’re having side effects, ask your doctor for help.

By setting small, achievable goals and tracking those goals, you can make a big and lasting difference in your health.