A healthy heart is a thing of beauty! Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.

healthy heartIs heart health your top wellness concern? While 1 in 31 American women die from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.* 

A healthy heart may not get the same attention as cancer prevention in popular media. What can we do to prevent heart problems and give loving care to our future self? The following personal habits can support us all in heart self-care. Preventative personal habits are powerful homemade health care!

Many of the habits below require a level of follow-through that can be hard to manage alone. I recognize that you might need to release or solve personal choices that have required you to cope in everyday, stressful situations. Sometimes this kind of coping goes on for years, decades, or even during a whole lifetime. It will also take some time for each of us to adopt new ways of coping with stress — ways that are like the heart-healthy habits below.

One of my coaching clients recently told me he wasn’t willing to go outside of his comfort zone to lose the weight his cardiologist told him he needed to lose to build his healthy heart. Do you ever feel so attached to your comfort zone? While treating our bodies with daily respect, it is also important that we have a relationship with a doctor we trust, especially if we already have risk factors for heart disease. Is that the first step for you? Do you have a team of support around you?

I encourage you to look at this list and decide how many of these 13 habits are calling to you. Perhaps you already follow or have adopted some of the healthy heart options!

  1. Stop smoking or chewing tobacco
  2. Reach and maintain your healthy weight
  3. Control high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, prediabetes, and diabetes
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Do not drink excessive alcohol
  6. Seek a qualified doctor’s diagnosis regarding medication and surgery options
  7. Find support in following your doctor’s orders
  8. Know the names of all your medications, what they are for, and how often you take them
  9. Eat a healthy diet and get the needed help to follow through on good choices
  10. Keep your blood pressure low
  11. Learn how to monitor your own symptoms like unexplained weight gain or swelling
  12. Understand which of your foods contain added salt
  13. Keep your scheduled doctor’s appointments

What kind of support do you or a loved-one need as you consider adopting healthy heart habits? Like so many challenges in life, it can be easier to face new situations when we can hold tightly to the hand of a supportive person. I believe in you! I invite you to also receive support from my FREE monthly e-newsletter Homemade Health. Click the image below to subscribe today!

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*- American Heart Association 2015 Heart Disease and Stroke Update.