Take Action Toward Better Heart Health: Know and Control Your Heart Health Numbers
It is important to keep track of how much you exercise, your blood pressure, your weight, and your cholesterol numbers as ways to meet your heart health goals.
Here’s some ways you can do this:
- Keep a log of your activity to help you track your progress. Consider wearing a device that counts your steps to track how much you walk every day.
- Calculate your body mass index (BMI). BMI is an estimate of body fat. The higher your BMI, the higher your risk for certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and more. Check your BMI using this online tool.
- Track your blood pressure. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked at least once a year at your doctor’s office. While you’re there ask your doctor what your target numbers should be and how often you should check it on your own. Use this blood pressure tracker or wallet card to help you keep track of your numbers.
- Get your cholesterol checked. A blood test can show whether your cholesterol levels are healthy. Talk with your doctor about having your cholesterol tested, how often you need it tested, and what your levels should be.
- If you have diabetes, check your blood sugars. Talk with your health care provider about how often to check your blood sugar.
- Keep a record of what you eat. Write down what you eat and drink each day in a food diary to help you stay on track when trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Keep your diary in a noticeable place such as on the refrigerator, so you’ll remember to update it each day.
- Follow the DASH Eating Plan. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is a science-based way of eating that can help you reduce high blood pressure and has other heart health benefits. Find healthy recipes, calorie trackers, tips for following the eating plan, and more.
Ask your friends or family to remind you to do these or join you in the effort.
Originally posted on National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute