7 Ways to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on September 11, 2020

Little things you do every day can help keep your ticker healthy and prevent heart disease.

  1. Unwind and connect. Find ways to ease stress. Three ideas to try: exercise, meditate, and talk to people you trust.
  2. Work on your weight. It's a plus for your heart if you bring it to a healthy level.
  3. Upgrade your next meal. Favor fruits, veggies, 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. Pick a couple of activities that sound like fun. That way, you always have some choices about what to do. 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 isn't good for your health. What's moderate drinking? Up to 1 glass a day for women, and up to 1 to 2 glasses a day for men.
  6. Check your numbers. You may have unhealthy levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, or blood sugar and not realize it. Your doctor can check these for you, and can suggest a plan of action if your results are abnormal.
  7. Don't smoke.The tobacco habit isn't just bad for your lungs. It also makes heart disease more likely.

Talk to your doctor about your lifestyle as well as your family's medical history so that you can learn about what you can do to lower your risk.

WebMD Medical Reference



Myers, R. Heart Disease: Everything You Need to Know, Firefly Books, 2004.

Tonkin, A. Atherosclerosis and Heart Disease, Taylor & Francis, 2003.

CDC: "Prevention: What You Can Do."

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