how-can-i-make-my-lifestyle-healthierIt’s never too late to make better health choices. All you need is a goal, a plan and the desire to live better.

Here are some simple steps to take:

  • Don’t smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Keep your blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg
  • Eat a healthy diet consistent with recommendations from the American Heart Association.
  • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity (or a combination) each week.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight (body mass index less than 25 kg/m2).
  • Have your cholesterol checked. Talk to your doctor about your numbers and how they impact your overall risk.
  • Keep your fasting blood glucose at less than 100 mg/dL. How do I stop smoking?
  • Decide on a Quit Day and ask your family and friends to support you.
  • Ask your healthcare provider for information, programs and medications that may help.
  • Go where smoking isn’t allowed, and avoid being around people who smoke.
  • Keep busy doing things that make it hard to smoke.

How do I manage my blood pressure?

  • If your doctor has put you on medication, take it exactly as prescribed.
  • If you are overweight, work to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Be more physically active.
  • Reduce your salt (sodium) intake.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.

How do I change my eating habits?

  • Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
  • Choose whole-grain foods and low-fat dairy products.
  • Eat fish, preferably those containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout and herring), at least twice a week.
  • Select skinless poultry and choose lean cuts of meat. But, limit your intake of red meats.
  • Include legumes, nuts and seeds.
  • Use healthy fats and oils, such as olive, canola, corn or safflower.
  • Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat and added sugars you eat.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little or no sodium (salt). Aim to consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.

What about physical activity?

  • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical…

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