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Heart Health: Conversation starters

It can be hard to talk to a family member or friend about making healthy changes. Use these tips to start a conversation aboutheart-healthy habits like quitting smoking or cutting down on fatty foods.

Begin by saying that you care.

You can say:

    • “I want you to live a long and healthy life.”

 

    • “I hope you’ll be around for a long time.”

 

    • “I want to help you make healthy changes so you don’t have to worry about heart disease.”

 

Share the facts.

Let your loved one know how serious heart disease can be:

    • “Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.”

 

    • “Heart disease causes 1 in 4 deaths in the United States – more than all types of cancer combined.”

 

Say how to prevent heart disease.

Make it clear that taking these steps can improve heart health:

    • Quit smoking and stay away from second hand smoke.

 

    • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.

 

    • Say NO to alcohol

 

    • Eat healthy and get active. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week.

 

    • Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, losing just 10 pounds can lower your risk of heart disease.

 

Offer to help.

Ask your loved one:

    • “What changes are the hardest for you to make? What can I do to support you?”

 

    • “How can we get healthy together?”

 

    • “What can I do to help you?”

 

Try suggesting these ideas:

    • Go shopping together for healthy foods. Then cook and enjoy a healthy meal.

 

    • Get active together. A good way to start is to meet every day for a fast walk.

 

    • Encourage each other to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked.