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Health Information Tips on Partnering to Reduce Heart Risk

Partnering to Reduce Heart Disease Risk

By Lynne Braun, PhD, RN

  1. Together with your partner, create reminders to help you take medication as prescribed (e.g., notes on the bathroom mirror).
  2. Make exercise goals as a couple. Exercise with each other. Work together to achieve goals.
  3. Form a plan with your partner for exercising both outdoors and indoors.
  4. Learn about heart-healthy food choices. Shop and prepare meals together. Don’t prepare more food than either partner should eat unless it is for more than one meal. For heart-healthy recipes for a romantic dinner for two, go to www.rush.edu/discover.
  5. Discuss ways to change eating habits. Once a week, substitute a healthful food, such as fresh fruit, for a less healthful one, such as cheese and crackers.
  6. You may eat out but discuss how to make healthy menu choices or special requests. Why not skip the French fries and order a salad?
  7. Share a dish at a restaurant to reduce portion sizes. Or ask the server to pack up half of your meal before you even see it.
  8. Eat slowly and enjoy each other’s company. Take sips of water throughout your meal. Put the fork down between mouthfuls.
  9. When entertaining in your home or bringing a dish to a friend’s home, use heart-healthy recipes.
  10. Motivate each other, but don’t nag! Use past successes as examples to help you continue moving forward. If setbacks occur, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It’s important to start again.
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