How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans. Although there are certain characteristics that make people more prone to heart disease that others, such as genetics, gender, and age, there are still measures you can take to decrease your chances.

Eat healthy: A healthy diet is one full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and certain types of protein. It is also best for your health to limit the amount of saturated fat and trans fat you consume. These include dairy products, red meat, deep-friend foods, margarines, and packaged snack foods.

Get active: Exercise has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease. The ideal amount of exercise to get is about 30 to 60 minutes per day, as many days of the week as possible. If you don’t have time for a full workout, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a walk with your dog is still beneficial to your heart.

Watch your weight: Being overweight and carrying extra weight in your midsection can drastically increase your risk of heart disease. If you are overweight, reducing your weight by as little as 5 pounds could greatly improve your health.

Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke: The chemicals present in cigarettes can cause tremendous damage to your health. These chemicals can cause damage to your heart, arteries and blood vessels and cause a heart attack. Smoking and even being around secondhand smoke is a danger to your heart.

Get regular health screenings: Blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and diabetes screenings are extremely important to your heart health. It’s important to be aware of your current health in order to improve it.

Manage stress: Whether it’s at work or at home, most people deal with stress at one point or another and it takes a toll on your heart health. In order to manage your stress your can plan your time, deep breathing or meditating, exercise, or relax your muscles by stretching and taking a hot shower.


Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works