It can be hard to talk to a family member or friend about making heart-healthy changes, but it’s important. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. 

The good news is there’s a lot people can do to lower their risk of heart disease. Use these tips to start a conversation about heart-healthy changes like quitting smoking or getting more physical activity. 

Start by saying that you care.

You can say:

  • “I want you to live a long and healthy life.”
  • “I want to help you make healthy changes so you can keep enjoying the things you love to do.”
  • “I want to help you get healthy because I care about you.”

Explain that it’s possible to prevent heart disease.

Encourage your loved one to take steps that can improve heart health. For example, you can say:

  • “Eating healthy is important for heart health. You need a mix of healthy foods — like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and oils. Why don’t we go shopping and cook a healthy meal together?”
  • “Getting active is good for your heart. Let’s go for a walk after dinner!”
  • “Quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease. You can get free help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).”

Offer to help.

Ask how you can help:

  • “What changes are the hardest for you to make? What can I do to support you?”
  • “How can we get healthy together?”
  • “You don’t have to do this alone. How can I help?”