Tips on Keeping Your Heart Healthy as You Age

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Keep your heart healthy as you get older by:

  • Being more physically active. Talk with your doctor about the type of activities that would be best for you. Move every day, even just for 10 minutes at a time (or less!). Start by doing activities you enjoy—brisk walking, dancing, bowling, bicycling, or gardening. Get more ideas on how to be active from Go4Life, our exercise and physical activity campaign.
  • If you smoke, quit. It’s never too late to get some benefit from quitting smoking. Quitting, even in later life, can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer over time.
  • Follow a heart-healthy diet. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, added sugars, and salt. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and foods high in fiber, like those made from whole grains. Get more information on healthy eating.
  • Keep a healthy weight. Some ways you can maintain a healthy weight include limiting portion size and being physically active.
  • Keep your diabetes, high blood pressure, and/or high cholesterol under control. Follow your doctor’s advice to manage these conditions, and take medications as directed.
  • Don’t drink a lot of alcohol. Men should not have more than two drinks a day and women only one.
  • Manage stress. Learn how to manage stress, relax, and cope with problems to improve physical and emotional health. Consider activities such as a stress management program, meditationphysical activity, and talking things out with friends or family. 

Visit the NIH website to learn more about heart health and aging.

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