Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. Fortunately, you can decrease your chances of developing heart disease with a few key lifestyle changes. In honor of American Heart Month, here are five things you can do to reduce your heart disease risk—according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute—and the Take Action activities that can support you along the way:
- Get active. Get moving by signing up for a fitness event (such as a 5k run/walk, marathon, triathlon, bike event, swim event, etc.), the Step It Up challenge or a physical activity coaching program (Easy Start Calls & Mailings or Phone Coaching). Not only is physical activity good for your heart, it may be good for your brain, too. A recent study suggests that inactivity can remodel the brain in a way that can overstimulate your nervous system, potentially increasing blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
- Watch your weight. To maintain a healthy weight, participate in a fitness event, the Step It Up challenge, the Time Out For Health challenge or a weight management coaching program (Easy Start Calls & Mailings or Phone Coaching).
- Don’t smoke. Kick the habit by signing up for a tobacco cessation coaching program (Easy Start Calls & Mailings or Phone Coaching).
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure. Control your numbers by participating in the cholesterol or blood pressure coaching program (Easy Start Calls & Mailings or Phone Coaching).
- Lower your stress. Reduce your stress with these Take Action activities: a fitness event, the Step It Up challenge or the stress management coaching program (Easy Start Calls & Mailings or Phone Coaching).
To sign up for a challenge or fitness event, log on to ra.staywell.com and click the appropriate link in the To Do list. To sign up for coaching, call the StayWell Helpline at 1.800.721.2696. Coaches are available Monday though Thursday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon (all Central time).
Published: February 10, 2014