Heart Awareness
Month

Providing tools to keep your heart healthy.

Prevention Begins with You!

American Heart Association provides easy to follow guidelines for how to prevent and maintain a healthy heart. Today is the perfect day to begin your new heart healthy plan!

Through the American Heart Association's Simple 7™ plan, you can begin on a heart healthy journey.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

    It's important to eat foods that are low in cholesterol, salt and fat, but rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Low fat dairy products can also help protect your heart. Click here to view our Heart Healthy Recipes

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Extra weight can cause high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, which are contributing factors for heart disease. For many people, a reduction of 10% of their weight can normally improve health. An easy tool to follow is the body mass index (BMI). BMI scores higher than 25 are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Do you know what your BMI is and your target heart rate? Try our calculator here.
  1. Watch Your Cholesterol

    There are two types of cholesterol you may hear about – the good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). The good cholesterol helps clear bas cholesterol from your arteries, decreasing build up and ultimately decreasing heart disease.
    Ways to increase your good cholesterol include: exercising regularly, limiting saturated fats, avoid over-consumption of red meat and full fat dairy. Some individuals may also need cholesterol-reducing medications to maintain their cholesterol balance. Take our Cholesterol Quiz.
  1. Controlling Your Blood Pressure

    In the U.S., 1 out of 3 Americans has hypertension – high blood pressure. However, one out of every five people do not know they have it. High blood pressure has no symptoms, and is known as the "silent killer." A well balanced diet and regular exercise are important to controlling your blood pressure, including avoiding smoking and limiting salt and alcohol. Take our Blood Pressure Quiz.
  1. Reduce Your Blood Sugar

    It is important to keep your blood sugars under control, since diabetes can significantly increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Again, a healthy diet and active lifestyle can control sugars and keep diabetes at bay.
  1. Exercise

    As seen in steps 1-5 above, exercise plays a vital role in decreasing your risk for heart disease. Only 2-3 hours of exercise each week can help control body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol – all contributing factors to heart disease.
  1. Stop Smoking

    One of the most significant risk factors for heart disease is smoking, or tobacco use. Certain chemicals in tobacco damage heart and blood vessels, contribute to narrowing of the arteries, which may lead to heart attack.

See how St. Joseph Hoag Health can help you prevent heart disease by taking our Heart Disease Prevention Quiz.