10 Tips to Promote Heart Health

Feb 13, 2024
10 Tips to Promote Heart Health
February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness of heart health. After all, heart disease is the leading cause of death in adults in the United States. Check out these 10 strategies to stay heart-healthy.

From studying heart disease extensively, researchers have learned a great deal about how it develops and progresses. While your genes play a role, your lifestyle and habits are major factors in determining your heart health. 

Our board-certified internal medicine physicians at Norwood Medical Associates in Norwood, Massachusetts, specialize in preventive care that protects you against heart disease and other health conditions. Following are 10 great tips for keeping your heart healthy. 


The National Institutes of Health says being sedentary raises your risk for heart disease and death. 

The research is clear: You need regular exercise for a healthy heart. Exercise makes your heart stronger, keeping it fit to pump your blood efficiently through your blood vessels so it reaches all of your extremities. As it improves your circulation,  it helps protect against heart attacks. 

Your physician at Norwood Medical Associates talks with you about your level of physical activity and explains why it’s so important to make exercise a priority. Experts urge you to aim for 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity. 

Find something you really enjoy so you’ll look forward to getting the exercise you need. 

Make your diet heart-healthy

Eat healthy protein, including seafood; plant protein like beans, edamame, chickpeas, and tofu; lots of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables; and whole grains. Buy whole wheat bread rather than white. Choose brown rice instead of white. Limit red meat and processed meats like salami and bacon. 

Avoid fried foods. Get a grilled chicken sandwich instead of fried. Fried foods contain saturated and trans fats. They lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries, a major factor in heart disease. 

Check the sugar content of foods; you consume more than you realize. Limit store-bought processed foods like cakes and cookies. Those sweet calories turn into triglycerides, which raise your cholesterol level. 

Limit alcohol

You may not have realized that alcohol can raise your blood pressure. It’s also loaded with calories that have no nutritional value. 

Stop smoking 

You know smoking is bad for you. Smoking greatly increases the risk of blood clots, which could end your life.  

Keep your cholesterol level in the normal range

At your checkup, we test your cholesterol levels. You can eat a healthy diet and still have high cholesterol because of your genetic makeup. 

Your blood vessels can get clogged with clumps of cholesterol, which can cause coronary artery disease; if the clumps form a clot, it can lead to a life-threatening embolism. Medication can lower your cholesterol to normal levels. 

Know your blood pressure 

High blood pressure can result in a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. If we discover that you have high blood pressure, we treat it with medication to prevent damage to your heart.

Lower stress 

If you’re under constant stress, you can develop high blood pressure. Plus, stress can lead to unhealthy eating and sleeping habits that are linked to heart disease. 

Establish close relationships 

Positive interaction with loved ones is a protective factor. When you feel close to your family and friends, your body produces “feel-good” hormones that relax you, helping keep your blood pressure in a normal range. 

Use meditation or mindfulness techniques

Scientists think meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you relax, reducing your risk for heart disease. Try deep breathing techniques and give yourself downtime. 

Develop hobbies that you love 

An absorbing hobby, whether it’s gardening, solving puzzles, golf, or something else, takes your mind off of problems and stresses. It gives you a psychological break and can lower your stress level. 

Call Norwood Medical Associates or request an appointment online today to schedule your preventive checkup.