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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See moreFeatured Articles: Improving Health

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.

Keep Your Cholesterol in Check

It’s no longer as simple as seeing how the numbers stack up. New recommendations for managing blood cholesterol are steering high-risk patients and their doctors toward a more personalized approach.

Exercising Safely in Hot Weather

As the weather warms up, it’s a great time to get back to those outdoor activities that are not only fun but also good for us, like riding a bike, jogging or walking. But when the temperature starts to soar, it’s important to take precautions to stay safe.

Don't Let Salt Sneak Up On You

Excessive sodium consumption kills about 1.65 million people every year worldwide. This is because too much dietary sodium can increase blood pressure…and it’s easy to get too much.

A Good Kind of Fat

There are several different kinds of fat — saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fat. And the good news is they aren’t all bad for you. For instance, polyunsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your heart when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated fat and trans fat in your diet.

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.

Game On!

New research shows us that, used smartly, games and gamification principles may help us reach our health goals. At its most basic, gamification means creating a system that motivates people to do things they wouldn’t normally want to do.

Dietary Supplements

Many people who want to lose weight turn to unproven dietary supplements. These are sometimes called "fat burners" or appetite suppressants.

Conquer Cravings with these Healthy Substitutions

We have all experienced food cravings, and often those cravings have to do with texture — like something creamy or crunchy. Food textures play a big role in whether we like or dislike certain foods. For example, while you may not like mushy canned peas, you may be surprised that you like fresh or barely cooked peas.

Be Your Own Diva: Get Heart Healthy with Star Jones

Star Jones knows it can be hard for busy career women and mothers to find the time to exercise and eat right.

Dealing with the urge to smoke

What happens when you’ve finally quit and you continue to have the urge to smoke? There are some steps you can take to deal with these urges and not give in to them.

Using Your Mobile Device to get Healthy

Smartphones and tablets have made health information available right at our fingertips, and there are a lot of apps and mobile-friendly websites that can help you keep an eye on your health.
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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.

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.

Health Assessments

By entering a few of your health numbers, our risk tools will provide you with valuable information on steps you can take today to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Take a few minutes to learn your health risks with one of our powerful risk assessment tools.

Heart360 Personal Health Record

Heart360® is an easy-to-use tool which helps you understand and track the factors that affect your heart health - including blood pressure, physical activity, cholesterol, glucose, weight and medications. Heart360® safely and securely stores your information in Microsoft® HealthVault™. Sign up today to manage your heart health!

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.

Trackers & Logs

Nearly twenty different printable trackers and logs for everything from recording your family health history to tracking your physcial activity or preparing for your next visit to the doctor.

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

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.