In the United States heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. Whether you’re young or old it makes sense to do whatever you can to maintain a healthy heart. The American Heart Association has outlined seven simple goals you can meet to support a healthy heart.

1) Manage blood pressure

Lifestyle plays an important role in managing and maintaining proper blood pressure. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, it should normally be less than 120/80 mm Hg.

2 ) Control cholesterol levels

Certain health conditions, lifestyle, and even family history can increase your risk for high cholesterol. High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can block arteries. Making lifestyle changes which include not smoking, regular exercise  and eating a diet rich in heart healthy foods that contain Omega 3 Fatty acids can help control cholesterol levels. [1]

3 ) Reduce blood sugar levels 

High levels of blood sugar can damage the heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves. Studies have shown including certain foods in your diet like blueberries, avocados, cinnamon, [2] garlic [3] and nuts can help you maintain proper blood sugar levels.

4) Get active

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity — or an equal combination of both –each week. Physical activity is anything that gets you up and moving. Some examples of physical activity that would benefit your healthy hear include walking, jogging, biking, swimming. [4]

5) Eat better

Limit your salt, sugar, saturated fat and trans fat intake. Eat a variety of nutritious foods like yogurt, beans, nuts, tomatos, berries and fish. [5]

6) Lose weight

By maintaining a healthy weight you help maintain a healthy heart. Some key ingredients in maintaining a healthy weight include eating a a healthy diet, getting a restful nights sleep, drinking plenty of water and exercising regularly.

7) Don’t smoke

If you smoke cigarettes you have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start and if you do smoke quit.


By making changes to your lifestyle, diet and exercise routine you can support a healthy heart. You’ll feel better, look better and set a great example for those you care about.

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  1. Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol. (2015, June 19). Retrieved June 08, 2016, from
  2. Allen, R., Schwartzman, E., Baker, W. L., Coleman, C. I., & Phung, O. J. (2013, September). Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: An updated systemic review and meta-analysis. Annals of Family Medicine, 11(5), 452-459. Retrieved from
  3. El-Demerash, F. M., Yousef, M. I., & Abou El-Naga, N. I. (2005). Biochemical study on the effects of onion and garlic in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 43(1), 57-63. Retrieved from
  4. Top 5 lifestyle changes to improve your cholesterol. (2015, June 19). Retrieved June 08, 2016, from
  5. Our Top 15 Heart-Healthy Foods (Page 13). (n.d.). Retrieved June 08, 2016, from