heart-shaped bowl filled with fruits and vegetables surrounded by workout equipment
February 20, 2024

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States. While you can’t change risk factors like age, sex, and family history, there are some things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. Following a heart-healthy lifestyle can help prevent heart disease so you can live a long, healthy life. Here are some steps you can take to live a heart-healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

1. Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

One of the best ways to start living a heart-healthy lifestyle is paying attention to the foods you eat. Aim to eat a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, lean protein, and fatty fish. Limit the amount of refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, added sugars, and excess sodium you consume. These foods can contribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar, which can put you at a higher risk of developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

2. Quit Smoking

young woman smiling while breaking cigarette in half

One of the worst things you can do for your heart is smoke. Even occasional or light smoking damages your heart and blood vessels. Whether you’ve only recently started smoking or you’ve smoked for many years, quitting now can be very beneficial for your heart and overall health. If you want to start living a heart-healthy lifestyle, set a date to quit and let someone close to you know about your goal. You can join a support group or talk to a doctor about medication to help you successfully quit smoking.

3. Move Your Body

Physical activity can help lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. A great way to start living a heart-healthy lifestyle is to get active. It’s typically recommended that adults do at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Try marching in place instead of sitting and taking the stairs instead of the elevator to incorporate more activity into your daily routine. Even exercising for just 10 minutes at a time can get your heart rate up to contribute to better heart health.

4. Get Enough Sleep

woman sleeping while wearing eye mask

Not getting enough sleep increases your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and other serious medical conditions. Make quality sleep a priority as part of your heart-healthy lifestyle. Most adults require seven to nine hours of sleep each night to stay healthy. If you struggle to get a good night's sleep, try to get in the routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the hours before bedtime. Additionally, don’t exercise too close to bedtime so your body has time to wind down.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Body weight can have a substantial effect on your overall health, including the health of your heart. Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent and control many conditions and diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Your heart-healthy lifestyle may need to involve following healthy weight loss tips, such as eating healthy meals and snacks, drinking lots of water, and doing weight loss exercises. To lose weight, you should aim to reduce the number of calories you consume while increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity. Keeping a daily log to track diet and exercise can be helpful.

6. Manage Stress

young woman sitting in meditation pose next to the beach

Stress can take a toll on your physical health. Ongoing stress can contribute to high blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease. Some people have unhealthy coping methods for dealing with stress, such as overeating, smoking, or drinking alcohol. A great step you can take to live a heart-healthy lifestyle is finding healthy ways to manage stress and improve mental health. You can try relaxation and mindfulness techniques like breathing exercises and meditation that calm the mind and body while focusing on positive thoughts and images.

Heart-Healthy Supplements from The Drug Store

These are some of the steps you can take to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. You may also benefit from taking heart-healthy supplements like Heart Wellness or Heart Health Complex to support your cardiovascular system with the nutrients it needs to function well. If you have any questions about how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle or want to know which supplements you should be taking for your heart health, please reach out to us at The Drug Store and our knowledgeable pharmacy team will be happy to help!