Take Action Toward Better Heart Health:
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight is hard on your heart. It increases your risk of having heart disease, a stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Choosing heart healthy foods and getting regular exercise will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Also, find ways to reduce stress, which affects energy and hunger and, if chronic, can make your body store more fat.
If your doctor diagnosed you with overweight or obesity, it’s important to follow their recommendations for losing weight. Health professionals recommend losing 5% to 10% of your initial weight over the course of about 6 months. But a loss of just 3% to 5% of your current weight can lower triglycerides and glucose levels in your blood, as well as your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing more than 3% to 5% of your weight can improve blood pressure readings, lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.
If you need to lose weight, connecting with others can help keep you on track. Try these:
- Join a weight loss program with a buddy.
- Sign “social support” agreements with three family members or friends.
- Get your kids involved. Explain that it's important to sit less and move more to stay at a healthy weight and that they’ll have more energy to ride a bike or shoot hoops. Tell them you’ll do the same.
For more information and ideas, use these links:
- NHLBI Resources
- Other Resources
- Healthy Weight (CDC)