Anyone can start down the path to a healthier lifestyle just by taking a few simple steps. That’s the principle behind Life’s Simple 7, a set of “life check” measures designed by the American Heart Association to help educate the public on how to best live a long and healthy life. The Simple 7 measures can be followed by anyone. They’re not expensive to put into action and, best of all, even modest improvements can make a significant difference in your overall health. Are you ready to take the first step?
Manage your blood pressure
High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for conditions like heart disease and stroke. Keeping your blood pressure within a healthy range reduces the strain on your arteries, heart, and kidneys, helping you to stay healthier longer.
Reduce your blood sugar
Your system turns the food you eat into blood sugar (known as glucose), which provides the energy needed to power your body. However, too much blood sugar in your body can be damaging to the heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, and can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes.
Control your cholesterol
When your cholesterol levels are too high, plaque builds up inside the arteries, leading to blockages that can result in heart disease and stroke. Keeping your cholesterol down helps to keep your arteries clear and functioning properly.
Making the decision to get active is like giving yourself a gift. Even a modest amount of daily physical activity can greatly increase the length and quality of your life.
An unhealthy diet greatly increases your risk of cardiovascular disease and diminishes your overall health. The good news is that it’s easy and delicious to make heart-healthy food choices. Your body will feel the difference.
Getting rid of unnecessary pounds and extra fat will help you to feel better; lower your blood pressure; and help reduce the strain on your heart, blood vessels, lungs, and skeleton.
If you are a smoker, then quitting smoking is the single most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your health.