Perfect, nice, aged, old, pretty woman, lover in t-shirt making, showing heart figure with fingers, looking at camera, celebrating woman's day, standing over gray background

1 in every 3 deaths in the US has cardiovascular failure listed as an underlying cause. 1 in 3. That’s a lot. And while it is a scary statistic, and there are no guarantees against heart disease and heart failure, there are things we can do to take care of our hearts.

1. Get checked out, often Regular check up. Scaled up look on serious female medical worker focusing her attention while holding a stethoscope and listening to lung sounds of a male patient.

Keep an eye on your blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels, as these are the biggest indicators that something might not be right.

2. Maintain a healthy weight 

Whether we like it or not, carrying excess weight does increase our risk of heart diseases, stroke, and diabetes. Use your BMI as a general guide for how much you should weigh, and check in with your doctor about healthy ways to manage your weight.

3. Sleep! A Caucasian woman sleeping on her bed

A study looking at 3000 adults aged 45 or over, found that those sleeping less than six hours a night were twice as likely to have a stroke or a heart attack as those who slept for six to eight hours. This is likely due to the fact that lack of sleep disrupts other normal health processes. 

4. Cut back on salt Greengrocer preparing organic fresh agricultural product at farmer market

This is a hard one for me because, at least in my opinion, salt makes everything better. Unfortunately, it’s something I have to get better at, because high-salt diets can cause high blood pressure, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Less is more.

5. Put out the cigarette Stethoscope with sign ,, No smoking"

If you’re a smoker, you’re twice as likely to have a heart attack than those who have never smoked. This is because smoking reduces your blood oxygen levels, raises your blood pressure, and damages your arteries – a recipe for poor heart health.

6. Work out Shot of a fitness group working out together in a gym

Aim for 25 minutes of cardio three times a week. Aerobic exercise is key for heart health and will reduce the likelihood of you developing a heart-related disease or health issue.

7. Manage your stress Young woman reading a book while relaxing on tropical island

While the relationship between stress and the heart has yet to be fully worked out, we know for sure that it’s unhelpful. Stress can lead to coping mechanisms like staying in more, exercising less, drinking and smoking more, and overeating. These poor habits raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels, two of the triggers of heart disease, so it’s important to manage your stress a healthy way.

Femi A-Williams is a health and fitness convert trying to reconcile a healthy lifestyle and a happy food life. She is 80% whole grain and 20% donut.

All posts by Femi A-Williams