(HealthDay News) — If you have risk factors for heart disease, such as being overweight, eating unhealthy foods or being sedentary, take steps to lower your risk.

The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends:

  • Eat a healthy diet, consisting of lean proteins, vegetables, fruit and whole grains. Indulge occasionally in your favorite cravings.
  • If you’re overweight, set weight-loss goals. Even losing a small percentage of your body weight reduces your risk for heart disease.
  • Get more active. Go for walks, dance, do sit-ups or push-ups. You don’t have to join a gym to move more.
  • Do not use tobacco in any form.
  • Find healthy ways to control stress.
  • Take care of your teeth and gums, as there is a link between gum disease and heart disease.
  • You don’t have to make all of these changes at once. Achieve one goal at a time.

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