Heart Health

Be smart with your heart

Your heart is an important part of your body. Your age, gender, family history, or race may put your heart at a higher risk for disease. But here are a few ways you can be good to your heart no matter what other risk factors you have:

  • Be active for 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Eat high-fiber foods, fruits, and vegetables
  • Eat foods that are low in fat, salt, and cholesterol
  • Keep a healthy weight
  • If you smoke or chew tobacco, quit
  • Get regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes
  • Take your medications as directed by your healthcare provider
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Remember to check with your healthcare provider before beginning any new fitness program. Talk to him or her about developing a meal plan that's right for you.

Taking care of your heart includes many aspects.

Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries. If the pressure rises and stays high over time, it may increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke. High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. A simple screening is used to check your blood pressure. Check with your healthcare provider to make sure your blood pressure level is not too high.

Cholesterol
Cholesterol is found in the bloodstream and in all your body’s cells. Your body needs cholesterol to work properly, but too much cholesterol in your blood may be a major health risk and lead to heart disease.

Heart disease
Heart disease is any disease that affects the heart and blood vessels. If serious enough, it may result in a heart attack. This is a blockage of blood to the heart, which causes part of the heart muscle to die.

Take care of your heart

Work with your healthcare provider to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in a healthy range that is right for you. This, along with other lifestyle changes, may help you keep your heart healthy.

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