6 Strategies to Live a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

6 Strategies to Live a
Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

When you choose healthy behaviors, you can lower your heart disease risk while also preventing other serious chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and some kinds of cancer.

doctor and patient talking


Learn Your Health History

Know your risks and talk
to your family and doctor
about your health history.

fruits and vegetables


Eat a Healthy Diet

Make healthy food choices like
more fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, lean meats, and low-fat
dairy products. Eat less salt,
saturated fat, and added sugar.

man and woman exercising with small weight


Move More, Sit Less

Get at least 150 minutes of
moderate-intensity aerobic
activity every week, plus
muscle-strengthening activities
at least 2 days a week.

Quit smoking for the people you love. 1-800-Quit-Now


Quit Smoking

Start your quit plan today!
Take the first step and call
1-800-QUIT-NOW for FREE support.

pharmacist and medicines


Take Medicines as Directed

If you take medicine to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Always ask questions if you don’t understand something. Never stop taking your medicine without talking to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.



Rethink Your Drink

Substitute water for sugary drinks to reduce calories. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.


High levels of LDL, often called “bad,” cholesterol, show no signs or symptoms but cause fatty build up in the arteries which can lead to heart attack and stroke. Know your levels and talk to your doctor about what they mean for you.
US map with #1

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States, and you could be at risk.

hands holding a heart

Talk to your doctor!

blood pressure cuff, no smoking icon, clogged blood vessel

The 3 major risk factors for heart disease are high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking.

Preventing high blood cholesterol begins with understanding your risk. A first step is to get screened and know your family’s heart health history.

People who have high blood cholesterol may need to take cholesterol-reducing medicines. Your doctor can answer questions about medicines and other ways to manage high blood cholesterol.

Managing your cholesterol should be an ongoing conversation with your doctor as you work through a management plan together.

Page last reviewed: January 30, 2019