1. Stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, especially atherosclerosis. Nicotine constricts blood vessels and forces your heart to work harder.
2. Control your blood pressure. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120 systolic and 80 diastolic.
3. Check your cholesterol.Most people should aim for an LDL level below 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.4 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).
4. Keep diabetes under control. Maintain a healthy weight. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
5. Eat healthy foods. A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains — and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium
6. Manage stress. Reduce stress as much as possible.