Life Essential 8: Your Checklist for Lifelong, Good Health

February 10, 2023

Life's Essential 8

Life’s Essential 8 are the key measures for improving and maintaining cardiovascular health, as defined by the American Heart Association. Better cardiovascular health helps lower the risk for heart disease, stroke and other major health problems.

  1. Eat Better– Try introducing healthier foods into your diet, such as whole foods, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, nuts, seeds, and cooking in non-tropical oils such as olive and canola.
  2. Be More Active– Aim for 2 ½ hours of moderate physical activity per week.
  3. Quit Tobacco Vaping and smoking contribute to about a third of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S.
  4. Get Healthy Sleep– Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep promotes healing, improves brain function and reduces the risk for chronic diseases.
  5. Manage Weight– Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight will improve your heart health.
  6. Control Cholesterol– High levels of non-HDL, or “bad,” cholesterol can lead to heart disease. Track your cholesterol levels over time and take steps to reduce high cholesterol levels.
  7. Manage Blood Sugar– Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart. Try cutting down your sugar intake.
  8. Manage Blood Pressure– Keeping your blood pressure within acceptable ranges can keep you healthier longer. Click here to learn how to understand your blood pressure readings.

Learn more about all 8: American Heart Association


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