Each year, Americans suffer more than 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes. While certain factors, such as age, ethnicity, and family history, are out of your control, strokes and heart attacks are anything but inevitable diseases — there are things you can do every day to lower your risk.
Be active Each Day
While this doesn’t mean you need to go to the gym or take a fitness class every single day, you should aim for 30 minutes of activity (walking, biking, hiking, swimming) five days a week. You should also incorporate two days of strength training or weight lifting into your weekly routine.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and fish should make up the majority of your meals. You should also avoid processed foods and those high in salt and sugar.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity contributes to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels. While you, by no means, need to be thin to be healthy, having a healthy body weight will significantly reduce your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
Take Your Medications as Instructed
While this may sound obvious, many people skip their medications either because they forget to, can’t afford their prescriptions, or don’t understand their medication schedule. If, for any reason, you can’t or don’t want to take your medication as prescribed, speak with your doctor.
Don’t Smoke and Avoid Alcohol
Smoking and excessive alcohol use significantly increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke. If you don’t smoke, never start. If you do smoke, consider quitting.
Alcohol should also be enjoyed in moderation — no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
Attend Your Annual Wellness Appointments
Even if you don’t feel sick, annual check-ups are vital to your health. Not only do annual exams allow your doctor to check on your overall health, but they also lead to a better patient-doctor relationship.
For more information on our Stroke Program, contact our team directly at 626-898-8861.