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8 Ways to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

It’s become common knowledge that the top American health risk is heart disease. It claims more than 600,000 victims each year.

So it makes sense to be aware of your risks. Then take advantage of ways to boost your heart health.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute offers some steps to reduce your risks for heart disease. Not all tips apply to everyone. Look at the ones that apply to you. Take steps to keep your heart healthy!

  1. Eat smarter — There’s truth to the phrase, “You are what you eat.” Take time to learn what fuels your body well. A good tip is to eat the rainbow!
  2. Maintain a healthy weight — When you eat better, maintaining a healthy weight can be easier. Need some help with weight management? You have lots of resources. Losing weight can reduce your risks of a number of health conditions.
  3. Control blood pressure — High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. This silent killer is also a risk for kidney disease and stroke. You may be able to reduce your blood pressure through:
    • Healthful diet. Reducing your salt intake is an important step in reducing your risk for hypertension.
    • Reducing your weight
    • Increasing your physical activity
    • Managing stress
    • Limiting alcohol consumption
  4. Control cholesterol — There’s good cholesterol — HDL cholesterol. Boost this through:
    • Exercise
    • Losing weight
    • Eating more fruits and vegetables
    • Avoiding trans fatty acids found in baked goods, fried foods and margarines
    • Quitting smoking.
    • You’ll also want to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. The steps above will help lower LDL.
  5. Control blood sugar — High blood sugar can lead to diabetes and heart disease.
  6. Get active — 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity most days of the week will help. Here’s a bonus: Being active helps reduce your risk of conditions such as stroke, colon cancer and diabetes.
  7. Manage stress — Stress is unhealthy for a number of reasons. Managing stress has health benefits beyond helping your heart health. We have 10 tips for managing stress.
  8. Quit smoking — Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. Smokers are six times more likely to have a heart attack than nonsmokers. If you’d like some help taking this step, visit with your health care provider. Or get help from the American Heart Association.


Your health care provider can help you succeed with each of these steps for better heart health. Want to learn more? If you’d like to learn more before you visit, see the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s Your Guide to a Healthy Heart.

Looking for a doctor? Find a qualified Aurora Health Care provider online any time! 

Meet the Author

Bijoy K. Khandheria, MD is a Cardiologist at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. He is also the Medical Director of Global Health and Executive Program at Aurora St. Luke's. Dr. Khandheria has published over 200 papers in peer reviewed journal and co-edited 3 books.

Read more posts from this author

The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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