Healthy Lifestyles

About Healthy Lifestyles

The proper healthcare starts by choosing a healthy lifestyle that can help you reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (or minimize its damage), increase your stamina, and can lead to a longer healthier life.

Healthy lifestyles include a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, quitting (or not starting) smoking, minimizing stress, and taking the proper supplements. (Note: Specific guidance for maintaining a healthy lifestyle may change over time as new scientific recommendations become available.)

According to many medical professionals, “Daily Supplements are important to maintain healthy body cells and tissues. A body deprived of the proper nutrients and nurturing will be more prone to disease and premature aging.”

Practicing the 10 Essentials for Health and Wellness gives us the healthy habits we need for healthy aging. And supplementing with the right nutrients helps us get what we need to facilitate the replacement of old cells with new healthy cells.

Learn more about each of the factors that affect your lifestyle by using the links below.

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Eat a Healthy Diet

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans show how good dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases.

A heart-healthy diet is one that is:

  • nutritious and well-balanced
  • low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and salt
  • high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

The Food Guide Pyramid and the Food Label are tools to help consumers make informed food choices in the context of a healthy diet.

Food Guide Pyramid
Use the Food Guide Pyramid to help you choose healthy foods each day.

Use the Food Label Nutrition Facts Panel on the food products you buy for guidance. In general, try to plan your daily food choices so that you eat

  • less than 100% of the Daily Value (DV) for total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
  • at least 100% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.

Food Label

For more information on eating a healthy diet, see:

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Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess body fat leads to health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Health professionals use a measurement called body mass index (BMI) to classify an adult’s weight as healthy, overweight, or obese. BMI describes body weight relative to height and is correlated with total body fat content in most adults.

To find your BMI, use the chart on this page or
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s BMI calculator.

BMI range:

  • 18.5-25 — healthy range
  • 25-30 – overweight
  • 30 or higher — obese

Having excess abdominal body fat is also a health risk. Men with a waist of more than 40 inches around and women with a waist of 35 inches or more are at risk for health problems.

To lose weight, you must eat less and move more. Your body needs to burn more calories than you take in.

For more information on losing weight, see:

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Exercise Regularly

Exercise improves heart function, lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol, helps manage diabetes, and helps control weight.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at NIH recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week.

Talk to your doctor about what forms of exercise are best for you.

For more information about exercise and physical fitness,see:

  • Exercise and Physical Fitness
    MedlinePlus Health Information
  • Physical Activity
    CDC Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity

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Quit or do not Start Smoking

Smoking cigarettes significantly increases your risk of coronary heart disease.

Facts about smoking and coronary heart disease:

  • Tobacco smoke increases your risk or atherosclerosis.
  • Smokers have more than twice the risk of having a heart attack as non-smokers.
  • Smoking is the biggest risk factor for sudden cardiac death.
  • Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die than non-smokers who have a heart attack.

In the first year that you stop smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease drops sharply. In time, your risk will gradually return to that of someone who has never smoked.

For information on quitting smoking, see:

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Minimize Stress

The link between stress and coronary heart disease is not entirely clear. However, people who have too much stress or who have unhealthy responses to stress may be at greater risk of having coronary heart disease.

Facts about stress and coronary heart disease:

  • Stress speeds up the heart rate.
  • People with heart disease are more likely to have a heart attack during times of stress.
  • People sometimes respond to stress with unhealthy habits such as smoking or eating salty or high-fat foods.

For information on stress reduction, see:

I’d like to thank the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( for sharing their information and letting me place it on my web site. Click here to check for updates of this information.

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