Improving Health

Though aspects of heart health can be hereditary, there are many things all of us can do to improve our health. Here are articles featuring tips and guidance for doing just that. 

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All in the Family

Greg Weglowski thought he was invincible. After all, he led an active life in law enforcement, ran marathons, sky dived and volunteered for the first Persian Gulf War. "I’ve always been a bit extreme," the Detroit native admitted. His family’s heart history was no exception.

Select. Store. Prepare. Devour.

For some of us, the process of selecting the best produce, storing it for freshness and longevity and preparing it in ways that get the most nutritional bang for our buck may seem challenging or complicated. Here are some tips to help you choose, store and prepare the good stuff.

The Three C’s of HBP

One in three American adults has high blood pressure. That’s about 80 million people, so odds are that you or someone you know has it.

7 Ways to Burn 100 Calories

Any physical activity that uses the big muscles of your body burns some calories. Doing finger calisthenics with your remote not so much. Here's a quick list of ways to burn 100 calories.

Tips for Avoiding Added Sugars

Added sugars are not the friend of a heart healthy diet. Although they are not harmful to the body, our bodies don’t need sugars to function properly.

How Do I Increase My Good Cholesterol?

High levels of HDL cholesterol — at least 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women — appear to reduce heart disease. That’s why it’s often referred to as "good" cholesterol.

It Doesn’t Take Much

Middle-age women who are physically active a few times a week have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and blood clots than inactive women, according to research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Lower Blood Pressure & Cholesterol According to the Latest AHA Guideline

Although none of us can change non-modifiable risk factors such as age, gender and family history, we can embrace the modifiable changes we can make.

What to Eat (and what to avoid) if You Have Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you know the importance of a healthy diet in managing the disease. Making healthy choices in what you eat is essential, but sometimes it’s hard to be sure if you’re eating the right foods. Choose foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugars. This list can help you decide what you should eat and what you should limit.

Are you at Risk for High Cholesterol?

It may surprise you to know that cholesterol itself isn’t bad. It is a soft, fat-like substance that your body produces naturally. It helps make new cells, some hormones and substances that help digest foods. Cholesterol is part of a healthy body. But having too much of it in your blood can be a problem. Too much cholesterol contributes to a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.

What’s the Best Time of Day to Exercise?

Morning, afternoon, evening—when do you think is the best time of day to work out? Some people wouldn’t think of giving up their 6 a.m. jog because it gets their day going. Others swear by a long walk after dinner to relieve the stress of the day. Which is best?

The Benefits of Tai Chi Healthy Body, Strong Heart

If you have heart disease, you may want to find a physical activity that you can easily maintain. The slow-paced "meditation in motion" of Tai Chi may be just what the doctor ordered. Based on the existing evidence, Tai Chi is a promising addition to regular heart care.

Navigating your Local Farmers Market

We all know that eating fresh fruits and vegetables is important for good health, and one of the best places to find them is at your local farmers market. You can’t get produce that’s much fresher—it’s coming direct from the farm to you, rather than being picked before ripening and then shipped long distance to your local grocery store. Prices can be cheaper than grocery stores, too.

Can E-cigarettes Help You Quit Smoking?

You’ve probably heard a lot about electronic cigarettes (also called e-cigarettes, e-hookas, shisha pens and vape pens) as an alternative to regular cigarettes. These devices deliver nicotine by heating it and converting it to a water vapor that contains lower levels of toxins than regular cigarettes—but they could contain chemicals and carcinogens that are harmful to your health.

Growing your Own Fruits and Vegetables

Whether you live in the suburbs or the city, in a high-rise or a house, you can grow a garden. Growing your own is not only a great way to have healthy, fresh veggies and fruits right at your fingertips, but it’s also budget-friendly and fun.
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Resources For Patients & Families

Answers By Heart

Answers by Heart is a series of downloadable patient information sheets presented in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read. They also provide room for you to write down questions to ask your doctor.

Check. Change. Control.® Tracker for Blood Pressure

Check. Change. Control.® uses self-monitoring and tracking of blood pressure readings at home to help you achieve and maintain a healthy heart. Sign up today to start managing your heart health!

Glossary of Heart Disease

The term 'heart disease' is often used - but there are many types of disease that come under this category. This companion piece to "The Heart of a Woman" in our Spring 2015 issue provides a list of some of the most common conditions in the heart disease spectrum.

My Life Check

My Life Check® was designed by the American Heart Association with the goal of improved health for all Americans. Any person can make these changes and even modest improvements to your health will make a big difference. Start with one or two. Know your heart score.

Patient & Family Support Network

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has created an online community called the Support Network. The goal is to connect people living with heart disease and stroke with others who are going through similar journeys.

Stroke Connection Magazine

For over 20 years Stroke Connection has been the award-winning voice of support, information and inspiration for a vast community of stroke survivors and their families. Now offered exclusively as a digital publication, it's available virtually everywhere.

Watch, Learn & Live Video Library

Here you'll find informative illustrations and animations about a variety of conditions, treatments and procedures related to heart disease and stroke.
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Life's Simple 7 Tips for Kids

What's Growing in Your Child's Imagination?

What's growing in your child's imagination? Help plant the seed about how fun and tasty vegetables and fruits can be!

Kids and Sugar

When you’re a child, life should be sweet. Unfortunately, life may be too sweet for today’s children.

Packing a Healthy Lunch

Packing the kids’ lunches for school allows you to know which nutritious foods they are eating. Here are some budget-friendly, creative ideas to keep kids happy and healthy at lunchtime.

High-schoolers who try e-cigs are more likely to smoke

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last year, e-cigarette use has tripled among middle and high school students, surpassing traditional cigarettes and every other tobacco product.

Packing a Healthy Lunch

Packing the kids’ lunches for school allows you to know which nutritious foods they are eating. Here are some budget-friendly, creative ideas to keep kids happy and healthy at lunchtime.

Creating Good Physical Activity Habits Early

The American Heart Association recommends that children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity every day. But less than 30 percent of children meet that goal.

Dealing with Picky Eaters

Kids can be notoriously picky eaters. So how do you feed them healthy foods when all they want to eat is mac and cheese at every meal?

Keep Kids Away from E-Cigarettes

The makers of electronic cigarettes want the public to believe that e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to tobacco cigarettes. But they could contain chemicals and carcinogens that are harmful.

Is Fruit Juice Healthy for Kids?

An easy way to get kids to get more fruit in their diet is to throw one of those convenient fruit juice boxes into their lunch bag—or is it?

Helping Kids Get Physical Activity at Home

If your kids aren't part of a sports team that practices after school, how can you help them get the exercise they need? It's easier than you think.

Helping Kids Make Healthy Choices at School

Burgers, fries, hot dogs, mac and cheese - these school cafeteria favorites seem to always be on the menu. If you can't send your little ones off to school with a health homemade lunch, provide them with guidance on making healthy choices as they're moving through the lunch line.

Overweight Kids Face the Same Risks as Overweight Adults

In 2010, between 16 and 33% of children in the U.S. were obese - and indications are that they'll become obese adults. And like adults, obese children are prone to critical health risks.
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Departments

Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Heartfelt

Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.