Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet
* Eat more fruits and veggies.
* Choose whole grains. Try brown rice instead of white. Switch to whole wheat pasta.
* Choose lean proteins like poultry, fish, beans, and legumes.
* Cut down on processed foods, sugar, salt, and saturated fat.
When eating healthy, flexibility often works best, says Joyce Meng, MD, assistant professor at the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at UConn Health. If you like to follow a strict diet plan, go for it. If not, it’s OK. “Find what works for you.”Tricia Montgomery, 52, the founder of K9 Fit Club, knows first-hand how the right diet and lifestyle can help. For her, choosing healthy foods and planning small, frequent meals works well. “I don’t deny myself anything,” she says. “I still have dessert — key lime pie, yum! — and I love frozen gummy bears, but moderation is key.”
Exercise Every Day The more active you are, the better, Meng says. Exercise boosts your heart health, builds muscle and bone strength, and wards off health problems.