Be Heart Smart


Read more about Andrew's story below

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. This program is for individuals who want to learn more about preventing heart disease and making heart-healthy lifestyle changes. This program will teach you how to monitor risk factors for heart disease and how to make simple changes to your daily routine that can improve your heart health. Become heart smart and reduce your risk for heart disease!

This program is offered as a series of 4 classes. Connect with your county educator to learn more about this program in your community. 

Topics Covered

  • Risk factors for heart disease
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure guidelines
  • Heart-healthy eating plan
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • How to talk to your healthcare provider 

ANDREW'S BE HEART SMART SUCCESS STORY 

Sometimes curiosity gets the best of us. It led Andrew Martin to sign up for Purdue Extension’s Be Heart Smart program. Little did he know that big changes were in store. 

Andrew is no stranger to issues of the heart. Heart disease and stroke are part of his family’s medical history. Obesity and high cholesterol also run in his family. Be Heart Smart taught him that while some risk factors for heart disease — such as age and family history — cannot be modified, he can modify and improve many other risk factors. One risk factor that caught his attention was his weight. Being a “numbers guy,” learning about his body mass index (BMI, a ratio of one’s height to weight) really made an impression. His BMI was “off the charts,” and as he admitted, “the numbers don’t lie.” This knowledge motivated him to start making heart-healthy changes.  

Andrew is applying what he learned during Be Heart Smart and making his health a priority. Two risk factors he knew he could take immediate action on were healthier eating and being more physically active. He started with small changes, such as packing his lunch instead of eating out, and parking farther away from his office building. Over time, these small changes led to a daily routine. Andrew now plans his meals in advance, eats smaller portion sizes, uses smaller plates, and prepares more heart-healthy meals at home. He has also made a habit of walking for exercise. 

When it came to physical activity, he knew he needed to start small and build up. “In the beginning, I had to be careful when walking. ... I was afraid of injury.”  Andrew went from walking 10 minutes each day to now more than 5 miles most days of the week! He credits his support system of friends and co-workers for keeping him motivated. He is also driven by accountability and his heart-healthy numbers. Andrew has lost 40 pounds as a result of his hard work to modify his risk factors related to eating habits and physical activity. His family is proud of his achieving a healthier lifestyle.  

Participating in the Be Heart Smart program was the nudge Andrew needed to make his health a priority. With the changes he made in his daily routine and reducing his risk for heart disease, “I feel more in control of my health,” he says. He wants the changes he made as a result of the program “to be a lifestyle change, not just something to lose weight.” He is striving for lasting changes — and a future of being heart healthy!

Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in Indiana and the United States. This program is for individuals who want to learn more about preventing heart disease by making heart-healthy lifestyle changes.

This program will teach you how to monitor risk factors for heart disease and how to make simple changes to your daily routine that can improve your heart health. Become heart smart and reduce your risk for heart disease!