The beginning of a new year is always a great time to wipe the slate clean and take a fresh look at your health. As a national partner with the American Heart Association, we realize the importance of taking care of your heart and want to make sure you know the key factors that can improve your heart health.

Here are a few tips courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Blog-Be Kind to Your Heart This Year


Regular Physical Activity – Get Moving

Did you know that over 80% of heart disease can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes? Daily physical activity decreases the likelihood of heart disease while improving your quality of life, as well as your physical and mental well-being. Opportunities are everywhere – not just the gym!

  • Stay hydrated
  • Strive to get 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week
  • Wear synthetic shirts and shorts instead of cotton to keep moisture from sweat away from your skin and stay cool from the vented fabric
  • Layer and wear gloves, hat/headband in cold weather to protect yourself from catching a chill and always monitor weather conditions to be safe

Good Nutrition – Eat Better

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!

  • Practice awareness with food portions
  • Remember to eat only when you’re hungry
  • Choose recipes that include these heart-healthy options:

Reduce Stress

Stress can affect your health and well-being in ways you may not realize because symptoms of stress are often attributed to other ailments or illnesses. But ongoing stress has been known to contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Here are some ideas on way to reduce stress.

  • Talk with family and friends about your feelings and concerns
  • Engage in daily physical activity
  • Laugh
  • Reduce bad habits (You know what they are!)
  • Slow down, take time to enjoy life
  • Get enough sleep
  • Volunteer, help others

Be a Quitter – Stop Smoking

Easier said than done, right? It’s true. Quitting something so addictive is very hard. But cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is life threatening. So read up – there are many online sites offering help (for example, www.quitterscircle.com) – or join a support group, support is often closer than you think. This is the one time when being a quitter could save your life.

Check Out LIFE CHECK – mlc.heart.org

The My Life Check® is the American Heart Association’s health assessment and improvement tool that encourages you to take actions and form habits to improve your heart health. Just complete an assessment, get a Heart Health Score with recommendations to make improvements, and track your progress. The tool works on desktop and mobile devices.

Source: American Heart Association (www.heart.org)

What steps are you taking to live a heart healthier lifestyle this year?