February 12, 2022

How to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke

heart attack

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If you want to live a longer, healthier life, it is important that you lower your risk of heart attack and stroke if you’ve never had one.

And even if you have experienced a heart attack or stroke in the past, you need to avoid the occurrence of another episode by adopting an overall healthy lifestyle.

Know your risk

If you’re aged between 40 and 75 years and you have never had a heart attack or stroke, there are certain factors that can increase your risks, such as smoking, kidney disease, or a family history of early heart disease. Knowing your risk factors can help you avoid an adverse episode. Reduce your risk factors with improved lifestyle changes.

Eat a healthy diet

Centre your eating plan on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins, and fish. Make smart choices like limiting refined carbohydrates, processed meats, and sweetened drinks. Avoid added sugars and saturated fats and trans fat.

Be physically active

Move more – it’s one of the best ways to stay healthy, prevent disease, and age well. If you’re already active, you can increase your intensity for even more benefits. If you’re not active now, get started by simply sitting less and moving more.

Watch your weight

Stay at a healthy weight for you. Lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Start by eating fewer calories and moving more.

Don’t smoke

If you don’t smoke, vape, or use tobacco products, don’t ever start. There’s no such thing as a safe tobacco product. Avoid secondhand smoke, too!

Manage health conditions

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, diabetes, or other conditions that put you at greater risk, it’s important to work with your health care team and make lifestyle changes. Many conditions can be prevented or managed by eating better, getting active, losing weight, and quitting tobacco. 

Take your medicine

If you have a health condition, your doctor may prescribe medications to help control cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. Take all medication as recommended. If you’ve never had a heart attack or stroke, daily aspirin may not help you at all and could cause problems including the risk of bleeding. If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may want you to take a low dose of aspirin to reduce your risk of having another. 

Be a team player

Work along with your health care team on your prevention plan to reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke to live a longer, healthier life. Be open about any challenges you may face in trying to make healthy changes.

Healthy living is the best way to delay or avoid many heart and brain diseases. It means being active and fit, eating healthy, avoiding tobacco, and managing conditions that can put you at greater risk. Take charge of your health, adopt or create healthy habits that you can sustain throughout your life.

Vanguard News Nigeria