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Seven Steps to a Healthier Heart

March 21, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. - Sometimes there's a big gap between perception and reality when judging one's own health. According to a recent American Heart Association (AHA) survey, nearly 40 percent of Americans thought they were in ideal heart health, when in reality, less than one percent have an ideal profile. To help people get back on track to heart health, the AHA has developed an online assessment tool called "My Life Check," which provides an overall health score and an action plan for improvement.

Brenda Quinn, communications director for the Heart Association, says a few steps can make a big difference in living a healthier life. She calls them "Life's Simple Seven."

"Stop smoking; maintain a healthy weight; get active; eat better; control cholesterol; manage blood pressure; and control blood sugar."

Quinn says that, while tackling changes toward heart health may seem daunting at first, the website breaks it down into simple steps.

"It takes minutes to complete; it's free. Basically, you will need your numbers from your physician. So, for example, you would need to have your total cholesterol number, your latest blood pressure reading, and also your latest blood sugar."

Quinn says the steps are not expensive to take, and any healthy change can help you live a longer, better life. She suggests getting started online at www.heart.org

Eric Mack, Public News Service - FL