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Women and Heart Disease: Tips for Making Small ChangesLas mujeres y la enfermedad card­aca: Consejos para hacer peque±os cambios

Women and Heart Disease: Tips for Making Small Changes

Making even one lifestyle change for your heart reduces your risk for heart disease. Change is hard for everyone, so take it one step at a time. Here are some tips to help you get started on making changes that are good for your heart.

Make a Plan

Trying to do too much too fast can end in failure.

  • Start by writing down all the things you'd like to do to lower your risks.

  • Break each one into small steps. If you said, "Cut down on fat," a small step could be to use fruit spread instead of butter on your toast. Or to take soup and a roll for lunch instead of going out for a hamburger and fries.

  • Decide which step you'd like to take first. Then choose a second and a third step.

  • Check off each step as you achieve it. Add new steps as you go along.

  • If a step isn't working, try another. Come back to the first one later.

Keep Records

Keeping records helps you know your habits and see your successes.

  • Keeping an exercise record can help you see your progress and keep you going.

  • Keeping food records can help you see your eating patterns and plan ways to make small changes.

  • Noting when you feel stressed or want to smoke can help you think of ways to avoid these triggers.

Reward Yourself

Making changes isn't easy. You deserve to reward yourself when you succeed. Just making the change may be its own reward. But why not give yourself an extra pat on the back?

  • Give yourself something special you've been wanting.

  • Do something that you've always promised yourself you'd do, such as going dancing.

Publication Source: American Heart Association

Publication Source: Sandmaier M

Online Source: American Heart Association

Online Source: Sandmaier M

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-09-15T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2005-02-18T00:00:00-07:00

Jay L. Jordan, MD, is an experienced cardiologist and internal medicine physician who provides a comprehensive range of cardiac care services in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas and nearby communities. Take the first step in preventing and controlling heart disease with symptoms such as angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, carotid artery disease, chest pain, congestive heart failure, coronary vascular disease, hypertension, palpitations, shortness of breath and stroke. Call Dr. Jay L. Jordan at 310-854-5493 or request an appointment online.

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