For Heart Event Survivors

Living ProHeart

Change doesn't have to be hard. Try these tips for sticking to your Action Plan.

6 Tips for sticking to your Action Plan

The first step on the ProHeart Path is using our tool to learn your cardiovascular event risk. (If you haven't done that yet, why not do it now?) Once you've learned your risk, you'll get a customized Action Plan filled with information and suggestions for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Now you're ready to go! Here are some tips to help you move forward.

  • Take it one step at a time.

    Your Action Plan may include some changes to your lifestyle, from diet to exercise to stress reduction. But don't feel like you have to tackle it all at the same time. It's difficult to change too many things at once. Conquer one thing - like eating fewer fried foods - then move on to the next.

    Be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

  • Be realistic.

    Set achievable goals. If you need to lose weight, don't think about losing 50 pounds - focus on the first five. If you're just starting a workout plan, it's probably not realistic to think you'll be running a marathon in two months. The key is to find what works for you, so it's important to find an exercise routine you'll stick with.
  • Plan ahead.

    A heart-healthy lifestyle doesn't mean you can't have fun. You can - and should - go out to dinner, attend parties, and take vacations. Just do a little planning ahead. Technology has made it easier than ever. Food Tripping is a GPS-based app that helps you find healthy alternatives to fast food, and Map My Walk lets you search for walking routes all over the world.
  • Build a support system.

    Don't feel like you have to go it alone. Build a support system of friends, family members and co-workers - they can give you the boost you need to keep going. The ProHeart Facebook Community can also be a great source of tips and inspiration from people who may be facing similar challenges.
  • Make new (healthy) habits.

    Ever wonder why it's so much easier to stick to bad habits than good ones? Unhealthy habits normally give you instant gratification. But you pay for it later. Healthy habits, on the other hand, may take longer to pay off - but the rewards are bigger and better. Forming a habit takes around 10 weeks, and the good news is that your new behavior gets progressively easier over time.
  • Stay on the ProHeart Path.

    Your ProHeart Path is a journey, and the most important companion is your doctor. Be sure to get regular checkups and ask questions. As you make important lifestyle changes, go back and take our risk assessment to track your progress. If you haven't already done so, print your Action Plan and hang it somewhere you'll see it every day. Even if you've got it memorized, just seeing it hanging there can be a great motivator - and a reminder of how far you've come.
"Since then, I am in the process of quitting smoking and trying to lose weight - which is hard. I now take an 81mg aspirin regularly."
Tammy H., I am ProHeart Community Member