Five things to do for your heart
Try our tips for a healthier heart
Looking for ways to reduce your risk for heart disease? Start with one of the most valuable: Manage your blood pressure. Keeping your blood pressure in check means your heart doesn’t have to work harder than necessary.
Learn strategies for controlling high blood pressure by watching our video,Your guide to hypertension.
Here are five ways you can benefit your cardiac health:
- Watch your diet. Avoid a lot of processed foods or pre-packaged snacks. Add more whole grains and fresh produce to your meals, and stick to small amounts of healthy fats like those found in nuts, fish, and olive oil.
- Learn your family history, and share it with your doctor. You can’t control your genes, but your physician can work with you to manage risk factors.
- Aim to fit in at least 30 minutes of exercise most days. It doesn’t have to be all at once — doing a few sessions of several minutes each is just as helpful.
- Find healthy ways to manage stress. Practice meditation or yoga. Schedule an activity with a friend. Take a brisk walk outside during the day.
- If you smoke, commit to quitting. Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease.
Remember, you don’t need to make all of these changes at once. Pick one or two to focus on. And stay informed: Learn more about taking care of your heart.
Kaiser Permanente offers special programs in most areas to help you care for your heart. Here’s a sampling (for Kaiser Permanente Members):
- California: PHASE Program (Prevent Heart Attacks and Stroke Everyday)
- Colorado: Collaborative Cardiac Care Service for members who’ve had heart or stroke issues.
- Georgia: Pharmacy Cardiac Risk Service, where pharmacists and doctors work closely to monitor members who’ve had heart or stroke issues.
- Maryland, Virginia, DC areas: Complete Care for Heart Health
- Oregon and Washington areas: Complete Care for Cardiovascular Disease Program.
- Heart care classes in most areas. Get information and any fees.
If you have specific questions about your heart care and controlling your blood pressure, talk to your doctor.