Heart disease is the top killer of Americans in the United States, and stroke is number three. Do everything you can to avoid being one of these statistics. Both the young and old need to be aware of prevention tips.
Physical activity: Being active is the best way to keep yourself healthy. At least 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise 5 days a week is ideal. If you have trouble finding the time, begin with something simple you can handle. Walking, running, biking, sports, weights, or stretching routines are the place to start. Exercise will help you manage your weight, feel good about yourself, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Healthy eating: A good diet is linked to healthy weight, healthy blood pressure, and low cholesterol. Monitor your calorie intake to maintain the right level for your body type; consult a doctor or dietary expert to determine your ideal caloric intake. Build your meals around vegetables and fruits that contain essential vitamins and minerals. Choose whole grains and high fiber foods. Fish and lean proteins are an essential part of a balanced diet. Don’t forget low-fat or fat-free dairy products to round out your daily menu.
Healthy weight: Obesity is a rising problem among Americans that directly contributes to heart attack and stroke. Follow the tips above to eat right; it will lead to a healthy weight. Crash diets and so-called diet pills are not safe and effective. Instead manage your weight through exercise and diet. Consult your doctor to set a weight goal.
Healthy lifestyle: Smoking contributes in a huge way to heart attack and stroke. If you don’t smoke, but someone in your household does, you are still at risk. Quit smoking right away and encourage others to do likewise. There are many programs that can help you quit and support you through the process. Don’t wait another day to make this essential change. Limit your alcohol intake as well. Alcohol has been linked to high blood pressure.
Blood pressure and cholesterol: Excessive sodium from processed foods contributes to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is directly linked to stroke. Get your levels down to 120/80 mm Hg. Be aware of sodium levels and avoid as much as possible. Limit the saturated fats and trans fats in your diet to lower cholesterol. If you cannot get down to a healthy level, ask your doctor about possible medications. If you have diabetes, follow all doctors’ orders as well.
Follow these healthy tips to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke. Just a few simple changes make all the difference. Don’t wait one more day.
For more information on preventing heart attack and stroke, please contact us at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute. Visit us online or call 1-800-446-6956 for answers to your questions and free referrals to experts in the Ft. Pierce and Treasure Coast area.
Lifestyle Changes (American Heart Association)