Sometimes it can be difficult to find time for yourself. The heart experts at University of Missouri Health Care encourage you to incorporate three small steps into your daily routine to stay heart healthy.


The easiest way to improve your heart's health is by adhering to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. You don't have to completely change your eating habits overnight. Make a few healthy changes at a time. Soon they will add up.


  • Whole-grain bread instead of white bread
  • A piece of fruit instead of a candy bar
  • Switch from 2 percent or whole milk to 1 percent or skim milk
  • Instead of meat, have fish for dinner

To learn more about eating a heart-healthy DASH diet, click below.



Make physical activity part of your regular day. That doesn't have to mean training for a marathon or lifting a huge amount of weight in the gym. Ease into a fitness routine.

Couple rides bicycles

  • Use stairs, not elevators, and walk to do errands near your home
  • Take a daily walk with family members, friends or pets
  • Find an activity partner to make exercising more fun
  • Find an activity that you enjoy and stay with it. Vary it with other activities so you don't get bored

To learn more about walking for heart health, click below.



The best way to know your risk of heart disease or stroke is to visit your primary care provider regularly and get the appropriate tests. How often you need these screenings depends on your age and risk factors.

Heart screening alert on phone

  • The American Heart Association recommends having your blood pressure checked at least once every two years, starting at age 20, if your numbers are below 120/80 and more frequently if you have high blood pressure
  • Cholesterol should be tested every four to six years, starting at age 20, and more often if you’re at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke
  • Body mass index can be evaluated during routine checkups to determine if you need to lose weight to reduce risk of heart disease or stroke
  • Blood glucose should be checked at least every three years beginning at age 45 to determine if you are at risk of Type 2 diabetes

To learn more about screenings, click below.