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Taking Time for Mama: Getting Heart Healthy with Lifestyle Changes

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 lifestyle-changes-increase-heart-health  Hemera/Thinkstock

When it comes to preventing heart disease, lifestyle changes are some of the most powerful weapons you have at your disposal for combating heart disease.

You may not be able to change heart disease risk factors such as your age, sex, or family history, but you have the power to totally transform your heart health in almost every other aspect of your lifestyle ranging from diet to smoking to maintaining good oral hygiene.

Lifestyle changes that make a big impact on the war on heart disease include smoking cessation, improving what you eat to become a heart-friendly diet, and maintaining a healthy weight, controlling high blood pressure, lowering blood cholesterol levels, treating diabetes, limiting stress, practicing good hygiene -- including oral hygiene -- and ... our favorite ... the dreaded daily exercise!

One great advantage to lifestyle changes is that there are no prescriptions to buy, no pills to take, no weekly trips to the doctor, and most importantly, they are relatively easy and generally inexpensive to implement.

Lifestyle changes sound like a win-win. You eat healthy, get some regular exercise, practice good hygiene and your blood pressure goes down, your waistline gets a bit closer to the one you had in high school, and you smile in the morning because your stress level is down.

Your husband, noticing the new you, wolf-whistles at you as you leave for work which causes you to smile even more. Your blood cholesterol is low and your heart is healthy. Yes, lifestyle changes are most definitely a win-win on all levels.

So, if lifestyle changes are such a win, are we actually making those changes? Unfortunately, it appears that our walk doesn’t match our talk. In a survey conducted by the America Heart Association or AHA, results indicate that people really aren’t out there doing the things that we need to do to get heart healthy.

For example, when it comes to eating the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables, the majority -- 80 percent -- reported that meeting this goal was difficult.

Add a Comment2 Comments


Hi Donna.... Thank you so much for taking the time to write and post. That is so kind of you and I appreciate it very much. 

I have a history of heart disease in my family as well and I've been fighting the cholesterol battle since my 20s.  I usually have three fingers pointing at myself as I try really hard but sometimes am guilty and fall off the healthy living bandwagon. Eating healthy (or rather not eating healthy) is my biggest vice and my number one goal to change this year.  Keep my posted on your exercise goals and I'll share my eating goals! :-)

Thank you again for writing.... It means a great deal to me when readers take the time to let me know an article helped them.

Kind regards,


March 26, 2012 - 7:12pm

This post surely helped me because my entire family died from heart disease. Knowing that, I have made changes in my life. I must say I am guilty of not exercising as much as I should. After reading this it has given me the incentive to do more with my lifestyle changes.
I thank you,
Donna Merrill

March 8, 2012 - 10:09pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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