(My drawing of the bear my dad was given. He was told to squeeze it whenever he was in pain)
1. EAT HEALTHY! That's obvious. Take it easy on the saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars and sweeteners.
2. EXERCISE! Another obvious solution. Keep your heart active!
3. GO TO THE DOCTOR! Get examinated to make sure you're healthy. Doctors are supposed to help you, so don't be afraid of them, but don't be afraid to interrogate them as well. You and your doctor should be 100% open with each other.
4. NO CIGARETTES! Cigarettes are never good for you. Never!
(This commercial is horrible, but it's effective)
5. MANAGE YOUR STRESS! This is a hard one, because stress is inevitable. Find a stress management technique that works for you. A few techniques that work for me are breathing exercises (breathe in slowly through your nose, hold for a few seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth), tensing and relaxing muscles (Start with your feet and tense your muscles for ten seconds. Then release. Work your way up your body until you feel like you've relaxed all your muscles), repeating a positive mantra (try my mantra, "I am smart, I am strong, I am brave, I am beautiful, I can do anything." You can change it to better suit you), and thinking of something happy (my thoughts usually involve kittens).
Heart disease kills more people than AIDS and cancer. So please, try to take care of yourself. If not for yourself, then do it for the ones you love. Your life is important to them. Trust me.