Skip to content

Heart Disease Health Center

7 Ways to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Font Size
A
A
A

Lots of things affect whether you get heart disease, and you control many of them. Little things you do every day can make a difference.

1. Unwind and connect. Cut out as much stress as possible. Find ways to ease the stress you can't avoid. Exercise, meditation, and talking to people you trust are three ideas to start with.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

Sam Morton: Living With Heart Disease

I've discovered that most of the time, my life with a chronic disease can be much like everyone else's. I am 41 years old. I am a father, husband, uncle, nephew, and son. I am an ex-cop. And, to either the bemusement or bewilderment of my friends and family, I am a former professional wrestler-the raucous, fake, TV kind. I am a writer and the token male member on my office's women's advancement committee. I am many things to many people. Most of all, I am a man with advanced heart disease,...

Read the Sam Morton: Living With Heart Disease article > >

2. Work on your weight. Many Americans are overweight. Bringing your weight to a healthy level is a plus for your heart.

3. Upgrade your next meal. Favor fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Pass on foods that are salty, high in unhealthy fats, or fried. Repeat for the meal after that, and so on, until it's routine.

4. Make an exercise menu. For your heart's sake, you should make it a habit to be active, so pick a couple of activities that sound like fun. That way, you always have some choices about what to do when you exercise at least three to four times a week for 30 minutes at a time. It burns calories and helps keep extra pounds off.

5. Rethink your drink. Limit alcohol. Moderate drinking may be OK, but more than that is bad for you. What's moderate drinking? Up to 1 glass a day for women, and up to 2 glasses a day for men.

6. Check your numbers. Many people have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or blood sugar levels that are too high, and they don't know it. Your doctor can check all of these things and, if any of your numbers are too high, recommend a plan of action.

7. Don't smoke. Smoking is not just bad for your lungs. It also makes heart disease more likely.

And, finally, don't forget to consult your doctor. Your doctor can help you focus on developing healthy habits like the ones above. Your doctor can also help you figure out if your family's medical history puts you at risk and know if there's anything else you should be doing.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on September 20, 2014

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
 
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
 
empty football helmet
Article
red wine
Video
 
eating blueberries
Article
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Slideshow
 
Inside A Heart Attack
SLIDESHOW
Omega 3 Sources
SLIDESHOW
 
Salt Shockers
SLIDESHOW
lowering blood pressure
SLIDESHOW