Show Your Heart Some Love!
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women. But you can take steps to protect your heart and stay healthy.
To start, you can learn and keep track of some important heart health numbers, like your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose (blood sugar). Then take action to improve your numbers.
One key number to know is your body mass index, or BMI. BMI is an estimate of body fat. Your BMI is based on your height and weight. Having a higher BMI is one factor that increases your risk for certain conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Get your blood pressure checked at least once a year by a health care professional, and ask what your target numbers should be. Then ask for tips to keep your blood pressure under control. Keep track of your numbers.
Getting enough physical activity can help you meet your heart health goals. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week. Consider wearing a device that counts your steps to track how much you walk every day. Or simply jot down how much time you spend each day with different activities.
Eat a heart-healthy diet and keep a record of what you eat and drink each day. This can also help you stay on track.
Find tips and tools for calculating your BMI, tracking your blood pressure, eating a heart-healthy diet, and more.
NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Building 31, Room 5B52
Bethesda, MD 20892-2094
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D.
Illustrator: Alan Defibaugh
Attention Editors: Reprint our articles and illustrations in your own publication. Our material is not copyrighted. Please acknowledge NIH News in Health as the source and send us a copy.
For more consumer health news and information, visit health.nih.gov.
For wellness toolkits, visit www.nih.gov/wellnesstoolkits.