Well Ahead Philly

February 2023

Heart and vascular care, delivered human to human.

At Lankenau Heart Institute, part of Main Line Health, our cardiologists hear more than your heart. It's what we call human care.

That means providing our neighbors with the region's most trusted team of cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons in one of the top-performing heart and vascular programs in the country.

Learn more in the videos, featuring expert cardiologists, about how to take better care of your heart. 

Tending to your heart health is always essential

Your health care needs are too significant to be placed on hold.

Now is a good time for a heart health check-up. Regular monitoring of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, body mass index, and other cardiac risk factors are vital for the early detection of potentially serious health conditions. Here are some tips to kick start a heart healthy lifestyle.

How do I know if my heart is healthy?

Knowing your numbers and what they mean, makes you better prepared to talk with your doctor, ask the right questions, and clearly understand whether you're at risk. It also allows you to be an advocate for your own health and can help you take the right steps to protect your heart.

  • Cholesterol
  • Triglycerides
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference

There are also many heart health screening tests available. Talk to your provider to see which tests are right for you.

How do I start making heart healthy choices?

Take it one step at a time. If you make small changes over time, you're more likely to stick with them. Soon they will become good habits that you can build on by making more healthy choices.

Find an activity you enjoy and work it into your day. Walk around the neighborhood or have a solo dance party in your living room. Find something that feels less like work and more like fun. Be sure to talk to your doctor about how to safely start exercising if you haven't for a while.

Be smarter about your snacks. Choose healthier options like roasted chickpeas, vegetables dipped in plain low-fat or fat free Greek yogurt, or apple slices with low-fat nut butter. If you do choose a pre-packaged snack, look for simple ingredient lists, low sodium and fat, with high fiber and protein. Measure out the portion size instead of grabbing a handful and mindlessly snacking.

I know I should stop smoking, but it's so hard to do. Can Main Line Health help?

We know that it's really difficult to break a habit, no matter what it is. There are so many benefits to quitting smoking, and some happen sooner than you might think like your blood pressure and heart rate recovering from nicotine-induced spikes after just 20 minutes.

Learn more about Main Line Health's SmokeFREE smoking cessation program, a free, 6-week program to assist tobacco users and vapers wanting to quit.

Should I consider cardiac genetic testing?

There are several reasons to consider genetic testing for heart disease. If you have a known cardiovascular gene mutation in your family, or a family or personal history of aortic aneurysm, cardiomyopathy, arrhythmia disorder, high cholesterol, or congenital heart disease, among other conditions, you may want to consider cardiac genetic testing.

Cardiac genetic testing may also allow you to take proactive measures to help reduce the risks associated with inherited heart disease, help you and your health providers make more informed decisions about your health care and inform your family members who may also be at risk for genetic heart disease, so they can also take proactive measures for their own health.

WATCH: What you should know about cardiac genetic testing

Featured experts