Focus on Health

The TOPS 10 Heart-Healthy Habits

Heart made out of book pages

A healthy weight can help support a happy heart. These tips will help keep your ticker humming strong for years to come.

  1. Stay positive! Not only is optimism good for the soul, it can also counteract stress. A more relaxed you has a lesser chance of developing heart disease.
  2. Slow it down. Unplug from the digital world and remember old-fashioned diversions. Write a letter, read a book or sing a song you used to love.
  3. Catch some z’s. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “People who don't sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease—regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.”
  4. Know your numbers. Talk to your healthcare provider about where your cholesterol and blood pressure should be and come up with a plan to keep them there.
  5. Exercise regularly. Not only is being physically active a leading contributor to weight loss, it releases mood-boosting endorphins. C’mon, get happy!
  6. Drink lots of water. Keeping your body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood throughout the body. A well-lubricated body doesn’t have to work as hard when you work out.
  7. Take your vitamins. Cardiovascular diseases have been linked to certain vitamin deficiencies. It’s best to get your nutrients from food, but be sure to check with your medical provider about whether supplements like fish oil and vitamin D might benefit you.
  8. Reduce salt. Too much sodium in your diet increases the risk of major health problems. Try a sprinkling of herbs and spices before reaching for that salt shaker.
  9. Laugh it up! A joke or two can lower stress hormones and reduce inflammation in the arteries.
  10. Go outside and get some fresh air. There’s nothing like taking a walk and breathing in the great outdoors.