Heart Smart Lifestyle Changes: Reduce Heart Disease Risks

David Lopez, MD – Cleveland Clinic Florida Cardiologist

February 5, 2017

As the number one killer in the United States, heart disease continues to pose a significant risk for all Americans. But, what if you discovered that initiating simple lifestyle changes could make a world of difference in preventing the disease? Well, it’s a fact. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), making healthier lifestyle choices can substantially reduce your risk of heart disease.

“Small lifestyle changes may have a big impact on reducing the risk of heart disease, and aid in prevention overall,” says Cleveland Clinic Florida cardiologist David Lopez, MD.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Anyone can make healthy lifestyle changes.  Simply making smarter choices in diet and exercise is a great start.  For example, in general, everyone should get 30 minutes of moderate activity each day.  Dr. Lopez shares that being sedentary, or not moving, increases the risk for many chronic health illnesses, including heart disease.  Since regular, moderate physical activity promotes a healthy vascular system, remaining active can be considered a huge step in the right direction towards prevention.

"The key is to start slowly and to build up endurance, increasing to 30 minutes of exercise three to five times weekly,” recommends Dr. Lopez.

Overall, healthy lifestyle changes that have a positive impact on reducing the risk of heart disease include:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Watch cholesterol levels
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Reduce stress
  • Manage diabetes, and other chronic illnesses
  • Stop smoking

What can you do you improve your heart health?

Know the risk factors, and be sure to talk to your doctor about the ones that apply to you.  Dr. Lopez adds, “It’s never too late to evaluate your lifestyle choices, and make positive changes.  Every healthy change you make can increase your quality of life, and help you live longer.”


For a consultation with a Cleveland Clinic Florida specialist call 866.293.0621,

or visit clevelandclinicflorida.org/heart.