Talking to a family member or friend about making healthy changes – like quitting smoking or cutting down on fatty foods – can be hard. Use these tips to get the conversation started.
Begin by saying, “I care about you.”
“I want you to live a long and healthy life.” Or, “I want you around for a long time.”
“That’s why I want to help you make healthy changes so you don’t have to worry about heart disease.”
Share the facts.
“Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.”
“Heart disease is responsible for 1 in 4 deaths in the United States – more than all forms of cancer combined.”
Make it clear how to prevent heart disease.
- Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
- Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation. This means no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men.
- Eat healthy and get active. Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week.
- Aim for a healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, you can lower your risk of heart disease by losing just 10 pounds.
Ask how you can help.
“What changes are the hardest for you to make?”
“How can we get healthy together?”
“What can I do to help?”
Here are some ideas:
- Go shopping together for healthy foods. Then cook and enjoy a healthy meal.
- Get active together. A good way to start is to meet every day for a fast walk.
- Encourage each other to get blood pressure and cholesterol checkups.
- If your loved one smokes, encourage him to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for help making a quit plan.