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Last modified / updated Jan. 01, 2016

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Reducing risk of stroke and heart attack

  • One of the best ways to protect yourself against a stroke or heart attack is by not smoking.
  • Being overweight increases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors for a stroke and heart attack. So eat a nutritious diet and aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Instead of solid fats (butter,margarine,shortening),use monounsaturated oils (canola,olive and peanut) and polyun- saturated oils (corn,safflower,sesame,sunflower and soy). Eat fish that have omega-3s (See Eat foods high in omega-3s,page 34.)
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. Moderate drink- ing is defined as no more than one drink a day.
  • Reduce sodium (salt) - Limiting sodium in your diet and change lifestyle, the changes can help prevent high blood pressure. If you already have it, reducing sodium intake further may help lower it.
  • Schedule exercising for a healthy heart
  • If you exercise regularly, you may lower your risk of a heart attack and stroke. If you are middle-aged or older start slowly and build up gradually, allowing time between sessions for your body to rest and recover.
  • You can track your blood pressure by using a home monitor between checkups. To choose the best monitor good for you, ask your doctor.
  • Staying mentally sharp to counter age-related memory loss. Very simple for this is to make association and meet several people at once, focus on remembering a few key names. Recite, retrieve and review.