A heart-healthy life starts with you!

February 02, 2024 / Molina Healthcare

A heart-healthy life starts with you!

The word heart disease can be scary. Knowing that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. is even scarier. But there are things you can do to care for your heart. Here are a few tips that can help you keep your heart happy and healthy! 

Sit less and move more! Sitting less can lower your risk of heart disease. Moving more is good for your body and mind. Regular exercise relaxes your body, makes you happier and gives you energy.

Choose exercises you enjoy like: 

  • Walking or jogging
  • Dancing 
  • Yoga

Eat heart-healthy meals. Healthy eating fuels your body and protects your health. Healthy meals are low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar. They are rich in whole grains, fiber and antioxidants. For heart-healthy recipes, click here. When cooking include:

  • Fruits and vegetables (try to eat at least five servings of both fruits and vegetables per day)
  • Whole grains (swap white bread, pasta and rice for brown rice, whole-grain pasta and multigrain bread)
  • Good fat (avocado, nuts, fish and sunflower seeds) 
  • Cook with healthier oils (olive and avocado)
  • Use herbs and spices instead of salt 

Not smoking. A smoke-free life can help you live longer. Quitting is one of the best things you can do to show your heart love. Quitting smoking may be hard, but there is support. If you need help with quitting, call the quit line for support at 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Control your cholesterol levels. The first step is finding out what your cholesterol levels are. High levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) “bad” cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease or stroke. 

If you are at risk of heart disease or stroke, ask your doctor how often you should get heart-health screenings. Heart-health screenings include:

  • Blood pressure
  • Measuring your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) “good” cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) “bad” cholesterol
  • Body weight 
  • Blood glucose 

Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease. A blood pressure reading under 120/80 mmHg is best for your overall health. Any readings between 120/80 mmHg to 139/89 mmHg are in the elevated or stage 1 of high blood pressure range. 

Reduce stress levels and get enough sleep. Both sleep and stress increase your high blood pressure. Sleeping helps calm and restore your body.

Prioritize your heart health! Talk to your doctor about heart-health screenings.