Did you know that people who have close relationships at home, work or in their community tend to be healthier and live longer? One reason, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is that we’re more successful at meeting our health goals when we work on them with others. NHLBI launched the #OurHearts movement to inspire us to protect and strengthen our hearts with the support of others.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. Most middle-aged and young adults have one or more risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or being a smoker or overweight. Having multiple risk factors increases your risk for heart disease.
Feeling connected with others and having positive, close relationships benefit our overall health, including our blood pressure and weight. Having people in our lives who motivate and care for us helps, as do feelings of closeness and companionship.
Live a heart-healthy lifestyle to protect your heart. It will be easier and more successful if you work on them with others, including by texting or phone calls if needed.
- Be more physically active.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat a nutritious diet.
- Quit smoking.
- Reduce stress.
- Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep.
- Track your heart health stats.
Keep a log of your blood pressure, weight goals, physical activity, and if you have diabetes, your blood sugar. This will help you stay on a heart-healthy track. Ask your friends or family to join you in the effort. You don’t have to make big changes all at once. Small steps will get you where you want to go.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute