Taking good care of your heart and helping to prevent heart disease may be as easy as following 7 simple steps, reports the American Heart Association, which designed My Life Check®, a simple health assessment and improvement tool that you can do right now.
To complete the assessment, go to their site, click on My Heart Score, which directs you to create a profile. You will then be prompted to take the My Life Check Health Assessment & Challenge, which will produce your heart health score and recommendations to improve your health outlook. It shouldn’t take longer than five minutes.
Here are Life’s Simple 7 from the American Heart Association:
Manage Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys which keeps you healthier longer.
Learn how to manage your blood pressure.
High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.
Learn how to control your cholesterol.
Reduce Blood Sugar
Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
Learn how to reduce your blood sugar.
Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life.
Learn how to get active.
A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy – for life!
Learn how to eat better.
When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, too.
Learn how to lose weight.
Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
Learn how to stop smoking.