Reduce Your Risk For Heart Disease

Don’t smoke.

Your chance of having a heart attack doubles if you smoke as few as one to four cigarettes per day. Even if you don’t smoke, regular exposure to someone else’s smoke can increase your risk.

Be more active

Get at least 30 minutes per day of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, most days. Fit even more activity into your life: Take the stairs rather than the elevator, do yard work, park farther from your destination and walk.

Eat healthfully.

Studies have identified several crucial ingredients of a heart-healthy diet—whole grains, a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts (about 5oz per week), poly- and monounsaturated fats, fatty fish (such as wild salmon), and limited intake of trans fats.

Reduce stress and treat depression.

Your risk for heart disease increases if you’re depressed or feel chronically stressed. Str4ess-reducing strategies include exercise, adequate sleep, relaxation techniques, and meditation. Psychotherapy can be especially helpful with depression and anxiety.

Watch your numbers.

According to the American Heart Association, you can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease by maintaining certain body measurements and levels of cholesterol and blood pressure (see adjacent Table).

Source: Harvard Health Publications site. Harvard Medical School. Gender matters: heart disease risk in women. matters-heart-disease-risk-in-women. Accessed 1 May 2017.

Latest Recipes

Sign up for NHR’s FREE E-Newsletter!

          • Receive notifications when a new issue of NHR is available
          • Get free recipes, tips on healthy living, and the latest health news

Subscribe to NHR Print for only $18 a year!

Get unlimited access to content plus receive 6 eye-appealing, information-packed print issues of NHR delivered to your mailbox.