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Life’s Simple 7™ for a Healthy Heart

Reducing your risk for heart disease, one step at a time.

We lose someone in America every thirty-six seconds to heart disease, according to the American Heart Association®. And it remains the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States amidst the COVID pandemic.

Heart disease doesn’t discriminate. No matter what you may look like on the outside, the inside of your body will dictate your risk. Don’t wait until you’re diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, a heart attack or stroke.

Stay healthy by following the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7™—seven behaviors that minimize your risk for heart disease.

 

Don’t smoke.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, individuals who smoke a pack of cigarettes each day have more than double the risk for heart attack than nonsmokers. Smoking lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol and raises blood pressure—additional risk factors for heart disease.

 

Maintain a healthy weight.

If overweight, a slow and steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is the way to go. Eat for weight loss by focusing on food versus counting calories. Find a meal plan that’s best for you at MyPlate.gov.

 

Be active.

As little as 30 minutes of regular physical activity each day can help you maintain a healthy weight while increasing your HDL cholesterol and lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and stress.

 

Eat a healthy meal plan.

Build meals rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant-based and lean meat-based proteins, lowfat dairy products and heart-healthy oils. For added benefit, choose foods rich in omega-3 fats like walnuts, flaxseeds, fish and seafood.

 

Manage blood pressure.

The higher your blood pressure, the harder your heart works—increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke. Help reduce the impact of daily stressors on your blood pressure by taking time for yourself each day with activities like yoga, journaling and laughing with friends.

 

Keep blood sugar in check.

Preventing the onset of diabetes by maintaining a healthy weight, being active, eating nutrient-rich foods and reducing your intake of added sugars.

 

Control cholesterol.

In addition to the steps listed above, take any cholesterol-controlling medication prescribed to you by your healthcare provider.