How to take charge of your Heart's Health

 1. Schedule a Yearly Checkup

Each year, schedule a checkup with your doctor and ask about maintaining a healthy lifestyle or any needed medication.

2. Get Physical

Start with marching or jogging in place for at least 15 minutes a day even while watching TV. Increase your activity by five minutes each week until you're getting a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

3. Drink More Water

Proper hydration is good for your heart. Take a water bottle with you wherever you go.

4. Eat Healthy

Keep vegetables, fruits and healthy snacks in the front sections of your refrigerator or pantry so you are compelled to eat them first.

5. Control Cholesterol

Help keep your cholesterol levels down by eating foods low in saturated fat and trans fat, such as roasted or baked chicken (without skin), fruits and veggies, and other low-fat or fat-free foods.

6. Cut Down on Salt

To help lower high blood pressure, watch your salt intake. It may be disguised in food labels as sodium alginate, sodium sulfite, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate, sodium benzoate, sodium hydroxide, monosodium glutamate (MSG), or sodium citrate.

7. Quit Smoking

No questions or explanations needed. Just Quit.

8. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Eat right and exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to steadily achieve your ideal weight.

9. Stay Positive

If you get off your exercise schedule, immediately get back on track toward re-establishing a healthy lifestyle.

10. Give Yourself Credit

To maintain momentum with exercising, losing weight, or quitting smoking, keep track of your achievements and reward yourself by doing something you enjoy.

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