How to be a Heart-Health Role Model

Young male doctor smiling and holding older adult woman's hand

Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to serious health conditions like diabetes or heart disease. These health conditions, like many others, can run in families. But there’s a lot you can do to help protect yourself and your family.

What’s the key to being a heart-healthy role model? Getting your family involved! By showing your family how you’re taking steps to a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be a role model they can follow. Here are a few tips on how to be a heart-health role model for your family.

Share Your Family Health History – Like diabetes, heart disease can run in families. Having a family member with diabetes or heart disease increases your risk and the risk for others in your family. You can use family gatherings, mealtimes, or even coffee chats as a time to talk about your health history. You’ll want to:

  • Ask questions. Asking your relatives about which health conditions they have had and when they were diagnosed can help you find out about your risk.
  • Record and update information. Write down the information you collect and remember to update it as you learn more.
  • Share with other family members and with your doctors. Sharing your family’s health history will benefit all members of your family, so doctors can decide which screening tests are needed.

Get Moving With Your Family – Being active with your family is a great way to lead by example. If your family sees you enjoying physical activity, they’ll be more likely to give it a try. Walking, dancing, and yoga are all activities families can do together at any age.

Share Family Meals – Sharing family meals is not only a great opportunity to pass on healthy eating habits, it’s also been shown to decrease family stress.


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