Sometimes, small changes to your lifestyle can really cut your odds of having a heart attack or stroke. Try this step-by-step approach.

1. Exercise a Little Each Day

Moderate physical activity lowers your chances of a heart attack. Shoot for 30 minutes of exercise that gets your heart pumping at least 5 days a week. Brisk walking or swimming are some good choices. On the other 2 days, do strength training, like lifting weights.

If you’ve got a tight schedule, break your exercise routine into small chunks. Try a 15-minute walk in the morning and another before lunch.

2. Set a Reasonable Goal for Weight Loss

If you’re overweight or obese, you don’t have to get thin to reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke. If you lose 5% to 10% of your weight, you’ll improve your cholesterol numbers and lower your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

3. Take Your Heart Medicine

It sounds like a no-brainer, but don’t skip your meds. Many people don’t take their medications the way their doctor told them to. Figure out what keeps you from taking your medicine — it could be side effects, cost, or forgetfulness — and ask your doctor for help.

4. Eat Well

If you stick to a healthy diet, you could lower your odds of getting heart disease.

Fill your plate with different kinds of:

  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Lean meats

Stay away from processed or prepared foods that often are high in salt and added sugar. They’re also filled with preservatives.

5. Drink Some Alcohol, but Not Too Much

risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

To get the benefit without the risk, stop at one drink a day if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man.

 

For more information visit our friends at WebMD

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