What does it take to have a healthy heart? A lot depends on you, and your risk factors. If you imagine that healthy living means a bland diet and hours at the gym, you might be surprised to learn how simple, everyday choices can make a big difference.\nLearn more simple, everyday choices that can make a big difference to your heart. Click To Tweet\nYou probably know that the basics of heart health include:\n\nEating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products\nGetting regular physical activity\nStopping or avoiding smoking\nManaging stress\nControlling your risk factors\n\nIf this seems like a lot to keep in mind, remember that you can make small changes in each of these areas and still improve your health.\nEveryday Tips for Better Heart Health\nThe best place to start is at your doctor\u2019s office, where you can learn about your risk factors. Your doctor can give you tips on how to make changes to your diet, activity level, and other habits that can help lower your risks. Some tips may\u00a0include:\n\nStarting the day with a healthy breakfast. Choose whole grains and fruit, like oatmeal and berries, or blend a smoothie with low-fat Greek yogurt and your favorite fruits.\nEating one more piece of fruit or vegetable than you usually do. You can add fruit to your breakfast, make a salad with dinner, or swap a packaged snack for an apple or baby carrots.\nAdding fish to your diet. The American Heart Association recommends at least two servings of fish with omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, trout, or albacore tuna, per week.\nNever missing a chance to move. Take the stairs, go for a walk at lunchtime, or park at the back of the lot when shopping or running errands.\n\nHealthy Heart Tip: Never miss a chance to get on the move! #hearthealthy Click To Tweet\n\nBreaking up activity into smaller portions of time. Go for a 10-minute walk at lunchtime, then another 10-minute walk after dinner. You can gradually increase your activity over time.\nMaking activity fun. Being physically active doesn\u2019t have to mean spending hours on a treadmill, and you\u2019re more likely to stay active if you enjoy what you\u2019re doing. Go ahead and dance, swim, hike, ride a bicycle, or just play with your kids in the yard.\nRelaxing the healthy way. Find a hobby you enjoy, like gardening, knitting, or walking instead of relieving stress with food, tobacco, or alcohol.\nLimiting your alcohol intake. Some studies have shown that moderate drinkers have lower risks for heart disease than heavy drinkers.\nQuitting smoking and using tobacco products. It\u2019s never too late to quit.\nFlossing your teeth. Some studies have shown a link between dental hygiene and heart health.\nKeeping regular appointments with your doctor. This way, you can keep an eye on your weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar, which are all risk factors for heart disease.\nTaking it slow. Begin by making a few changes, then adding more over time so you don\u2019t feel overwhelmed.\n\nTo learn more, visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI (876-2484)\u00a0or visit one of our Pittsburgh heart screenings to gain insight into your heart health.