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Photo Caption: (Left to right) Marci Ross, RN; Gina Cicinella, RN, BSN; Adam Alcaraz, RN, Heart Institute.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), incorporating six pillars of heart health into your lifestyle can make a big difference.

Increase your daily movement

Aim for 150 minutes of movement each week. Go for a walk, do some yoga or take an online fitness class — do something you enjoy so you are motivated to make it a habit. 

Heart Institute employees make heart hands

(Left to right) Danielle Brown and Iridia Aldaco, Heart Institute.

Eat heart healthy foods

Think low in sodium and saturated fats when considering food for heart disease prevention. Check out the NHLBI recipes for some heart healthy recipe inspiration.

Heart Institute employee making heart with hands

Jordan Prutkin, MD, Heart Institute.

Know your heart health numbers

Being “in the know” is good, especially when it comes to the numbers that affect your heart health like exercise duration, blood pressure, weight and cholesterol. Keeping track of these numbers can help you and your doctor assess your heart health goals.

Heart Institute Employee makes hand heart

Amanda Stevens, RN, Heart Institute.

Get quality sleep and reduce stress

Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Make sure you are getting good quality sleep and taking steps to reduce stress, which can lead to high blood pressure.

Heart Institute employees making hearts with hands

(Left to right) Alyssa Deguzman and Zizi Thompson, Heart Institute.

Stop smoking

If you smoke (or vape), it’s a good time to think about quitting. Tobacco smoke has harmful chemicals that affect your heart and blood vessels.

Heart Institute employee makes hand heart

Charlotte Riches, Heart Institute.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight can be tough on your heart and can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Choose heart healthy food, get regular exercise and plenty of sleep, and talk to your doctor if you have concerns about how your weight could be affecting your heart.

Heart Institute employees make heart hands

(Left to right) Jim McRea and John Michael Maier, Heart Institute.

The Heart Institute wishes you a happy and healthy heart month.

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Heart Institute photos by Tabitha Headrik.