Follow these tips to have a healthy heart

According to a new American Heart Association report, nearly half of all U.S. adults have some type of cardiovascular disease, so during Heart Month, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System experts are reminding East Texans that living a heart-healthy lifestyle is key to enjoying a healthier, happier life.

“According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States,” said Dr. Christopher Boylan with Christus Trinity Clinic Cardiology.

About 43-percent of Americans have total cholesterol levels above the optimal level. Nearly half of all Americans with high blood pressure (46-percent) do not have it under control, and about 35 percent of Americans have pre-diabetes. With statistics like this facing us, it is more important than ever that we take steps to correct this problem head on.”

Dr. Boylan recommends taking these three basic steps to guard against heart disease.

Quit smoking

“Rates of tobacco use in Northeast Texas are higher than the national average. It really is very straightforward: if you are a smoker, please take whatever steps are necessary in order to quit,” said Dr. Boylan. “Smoking is believed to be the cause of more than 7 million heart disease deaths each year — quitting can save your life.”

Be more active

“Exercise and healthy physical activity have enormous benefits for our cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Boylan. “It can help lower blood pressure and increase your mood and relieve stress; moderately intense physical activity every week is a fantastic medicine.”

Maintain a healthy weight

“There are a number of heart disease risk factors associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and more,” said Dr. Boylan. “Living life at a weight that is unhealthy for your body can have long-term consequences and definitely increases your risk of heart disease. Leading an active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy diet and staying on top of risk factors all help maintain healthy weight.”

If you think you may be at risk for heart disease, or if you simply want to find our more – take a heart health risk assessment at

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