Maintaining a healthy weight
This is essential for protecting your heart. Being overweight or obese, especially carrying extra fat around the midsection, increases your risk of developing heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of developing heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
The body mass index (BMI) is a tool that measures height and weight to identify if someone is overweight or obese. A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight and is generally associated with higher cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
In addition to BMI, waist circumference measures the amount of fat around the midsection and can be an indicator of heart disease risk. If your waist circumference is greater than 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm) for men, or 35 inches (88.9 cm) for women, your risk of developing heart disease increases significantly.