Eight Tips for Heart Health


Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women of nearly all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Take care of your heart with these tips:

1. Eat Well

This includes eating lots of vegetables, healthy fats (such as nuts, olive oil), fiber, and lean proteins (including chicken, fish, turkey, low fat milk and yogurt, tofu, and quinoa), and consuming alcohol in moderation (one drink or less a day).

2. Increase Activity

Park your car a block or more from where you are going and walk the rest of the way there, take the stairs instead of the elevator, plan outside activities like hiking, walking or biking. All activity counts and the more you can increase it, your heart and overall health will improve.

3. Stop Smoking

Look for classes online to help you quit.

4. Sleep Well

Getting a good night sleep is essential to your heart, mind, and body. Stop using screens before bedtime and establish a consistent bedtime routine.

5. Manage Weight

Extra weight can damage your heart. If you are overweight or obese, talk with your primary care provider about ways to reduce weight. Visit emersonweightloss.org to learn about surgical weight loss.  

6. Control cholesterol

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are two of the best ways to reduce high cholesterol. Sometimes healthy lifestyle is not enough to reduce cholesterol. Talk with your primary care provider about medication to keep your cholesterol in check.  

7. Manage blood pressure

Following the tips above can help reduce your blood pressure. Reducing sodium can help too.  

8. Know your blood sugar

Your primary care provider can test your blood sugar. If it is high, they will discuss ways to lower it through lifestyle, including exercise.  

Regular visits with your primary care provider can help you get on track for heart health. Visit emersondocs.org to find providers. Visit emersonhealth.org/cardiacrehab for information about heart health including a Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention Program.