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Embracing a healthy lifestyle at any age can prevent heart disease and lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke.  You are never too old to too young to begin taking care of your heart. 

Your heart health is central to overall good health. It’s responsible for pumping nutrient-rich blood throughout your body, it supplies oxygen while removing toxins and waste. As the center of your cardiovascular system, it is vitally responsible for just about everything that gives your body life, ranging from the transportation of oxygen to the success of your immune system.

Phelps Memorial Health Center encourages you to take steps to help protect against heart disease. Lifestyle changes are powerful.

You can start by:

• Being active. Physical activity and exercise can reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease and even reverse some risk factors such being overweight or high blood pressure.

• Eating healthy. Eating the right foods can help you control your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. Follow a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.

• Get your sleep. Sleeping a solid 7 or 8 hours per night is a marker of good heart health.

• Manage blood pressure. Staying active and eating a heart-healthy diet, while lowering salt intake and managing stress, can help prevent the development of hypertension, as well as naturally lower your blood pressure.

If diagnosed, there are medications that can help manage it, but it’s important to note: These prescriptions have maximal impact when lifestyle changes are also implemented.

• Control cholesterol. There are two types of cholesterol: “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipids, LDL) which clogs arteries, and “good” cholesterol (high-density lipids, HDL), because it helps remove bad cholesterol from arteries.

Contact your healthcare provider to discuss your heart health, heart medications, lifestyle changes, challenges with managing blood pressure or any other heart health concerns.