A healthier you doesn’t have to mean a total lifestyle makeover. Sometimes big changes start with small shifts. That’s the American Heart Association’s message with Life’s Simple 7 My Life Check® — their tool for helping you understand and improve your heart health. This American Heart Month, we caught up with Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, a professor of preventative medicine and spokesperson for the American Heart Association, to show you how quick and easy it is.
How It Works
By asking some basic questions about the Simple 7—your diet, exercise, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and smoking status—AHA’s experts can quickly calculate your heart health score.
Better yet, this DIY health check is free and confidential. If you have your numbers handy from a recent physical, that’s great. If not, they’ll work with the information you do have.
The result? You instantly learn where you stand against the seven heart health checkpoints and, more importantly, what to do next.
Eating Better for Heart Health
There’s a reason healthy diet is among the things Life’s Simple 7 measures and tracks. Eating better is one of our best weapons in the fight against heart disease. Bonus: Food that’s great for your heart will benefit the rest of your body, too—helping you feel good, stay healthy, and feed your potential for years to come.
At home or on the go, whether you’re a total foodie or a beginner cook, here are a few ways you can bring heart health to the table:
- Load up on colorful fruits and veggies
- Choose whole grains, like oatmeal for breakfast and grain bowls for lunch
- Plan more plant-forward meals
- Steer away from unhealthy fats (thankfully, delicious foods like nuts, olive oil, and avocados contain the healthy kind)
- Swap out added sugars (because you’re sweet enough as it is!)
Have 10 Minutes? Get Your Score Now
Visit AHA’s website today to take the Life’s Simple 7 health check. Whether you need to eat better, exercise more, or improve your blood pressure, they’ll offer practical ideas for your next move.
Start with one or two lifestyle changes, and return every now and then to track your progress. Small steps will lead to big changes that protect your heart—for life!
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.