Heart Healthy from WakeMed Heart Center

Improving Your Risk Factors

Lose excess weight or control your weight:
Reducing excess body weight by 5 to 10 percent is enough to help lower blood pressure, total and LDL blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and blood sugar.

Exercise daily:
Get 30 minutes or more per day of aerobic activity (like brisk walking) on most days of the week to help raise your HDL and lower your LDL cholesterol and reduce your systolic blood pressure by 4 – 9 points. Remember if you eat more calories than you burn through exercise and daily activities, you will gain weight. Challenge yourself to find a healthy balance. Figure out ways to incorporate more exercise into your day like parking further from a front door, walk your pet further or longer, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Quit smoking:
Smoking decreases HDL cholesterol levels (the good cholesterol) and increases your blood pressure. Quit smoking and take a step to improve your overall heart health.

Limit alcohol:
Limit alcoholic drinks to no more than 2 per day for men; 1 per day for women to lower your systolic blood pressure by 2 to 4 points.

All information on the Heart Healthy by WakeMed portion of the Flavor, NC website is for informational purposes only. The information should not be used in place of a consultation with your physician or other health care provider.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Click here for more information about WakeMed’s copyright, disclaimer and privacy statements.

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