Give up smoking
If you’re a smoker, quit. It’s the single best thing you can do for your heart health.
Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
You’re more likely to stop smoking for good if you use NHS stop smoking services. Visit the Smokefree website or ask your GP for help with quitting.
Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster.
Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on five days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work.
Manage your weight
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to ahealthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, combined with regular physical activity.
Find out if you are a healthy weight with the BMI calculator. If you’re overweight, try our 12-week weight loss plan.
Cut down on salt
To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking. Once you get used to the taste of food without added salt, you can cut it out completely.
Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods. Most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy. Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g. Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that’s about one teaspoon.
Drink less alcohol
Don’t forget alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline. Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.
Read the food label
When shopping, it’s a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains. Understanding what is in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet will help you make healthier