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A heart-healthy lifestyle is a way of living that helps keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
This lifestyle can help lower your risk of a heart attack and stroke. It can also improve the quality and length of your life.
To be heart-healthy:
- Don't smoke, and try to avoid second-hand smoke.
- Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of future problems. When you quit, you lower your risk of a heart attack.
- Be active.
- Being active can help your heart get stronger and work better. Talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program. Your doctor can help you know what amount and level of activity is safe for you. Try to be active on most, and preferably all, days of the week.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet.
- Healthy foods can help you stay at a healthy weight and manage other health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. These foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean meat, fish, and whole grains. Limit things that are not so good for your heart, like sodium, alcohol, and sugar.
- Stay at a healthy weight.
- Lose weight if you need to. A healthy weight can help keep your heart and body as healthy as possible.
- Manage other health problems.
- These problems include diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. If you think you may have a problem with alcohol or drug use, talk to your doctor.
Eating healthy foods
- Developing a Plan for Healthy Eating
- Healthy Eating for Canadians
- Quick Tips: Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Current as of: September 7, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Contact Physical Activity Services
If you have questions about physical activity or exercise, call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf and heard of hearing) toll-free in B.C. Our qualified exercise professionals are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm Pacific Time. You can also leave a message after hours.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
HealthLinkBC’s qualified exercise professionals can also answer your questions by email.
Contact a Dietitian
If you have any questions about healthy eating, food, or nutrition, call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing) toll-free in B.C. You can speak to a health service navigator who can connect you with one of our registered dietitians, who are available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can also leave a message after hours.
Translations services are available in more than 130 languages.
HealthLinkBC Dietitians can also answer your questions by email.
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If you are looking for health services in your community, you can use the HealthLinkBC Directory to find hospitals, clinics, and other resources.