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Your Guide to a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

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What you need to know about staying active, eating well, and maintaining your health.

Always consult with your health care provider before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Get Moving (and Keep Moving)

  • Get MovingAny amount of physical activity is better than no physical activity.
  • Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each week.
  • Split activity into several short periods, like 10 minutes 3 times a day.
  • Walking is great exercise and it’s free!

Some Simple Steps

  • Take the stairs
  • Do an extra lap around the grocery store or mall
  • Do some housework: mop floors; rake leaves; shovel snow
  • Walk with a friend, family member, neighbor or pet

Maintain a Healthy Weight (It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Diet)

  • Maintain a Healthy WeightEat a diet of mostly fruits, vegetables, non-fat or low fat milk, and whole grains.
  • Limit sugary beverages and fried foods.
  • Avoid foods high in salt and cholesterol
  • Limit overall fat intake, and avoid all trans fat (partially hydrogenated oils).

Some Simple Steps

  • Turn off the TV and computer while eating
  • Grill, broil or sauté instead of frying
  • Cook with small amounts of unsaturated oils (canola, olive, sunflower) or use pan sprays
  • Choose smaller servings. If you eat out, take half of your meal home.

Know Your Numbers (and Keep Them in a Healthy Range)

  • Know Your NumbersBlood pressure below 120/80
  • HDL (“good”) cholesterol above 60
  • LDL (“bad”) cholesterol below 100
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) below 25

To calculate your BMI: weight (lb) / [height (in)]2 x 703 or visit the CDC website to use an online calculator.

Some Simple Steps

  • If you smoke, quit now
  • Call the NYS Smokers' Quitline: 1 (888) NY-QUITS (1-888-697-8487)
  • Get your numbers checked regularly
  • Ask your health care provider how to keep your numbers in a healthy range

Limiting Overall Fat Intake and Eliminating Trans Fat Is Part of a Heart Healthy Diet

Trans fat is the most dangerous type of dietary fat. It increases LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and decreases HDL ("good") cholesterol in the body, thereby promoting heart disease.

The elimination of trans fat will not change the flavor of your favorite restaurant items, but instead will promote a healthier dining experience!

Trans Fat = “partially Hydrogenated Oil”

Watch out for these common sources of trans fat in your diet:

  • Shortenings and margarine
  • French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, fish fillets, taco shells
  • Hamburger buns, pizza dough, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, pastries, donuts
  • Salad dressing, croutons, hot chocolate, icing, pancake and other baking mixes
  • Potato or tortilla chips, microwave popcorn, candy

Always consult with your health care provider before making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine.

Have Questions?

Call (518) 447-4585 or email