5 Ways to Avoid a Heart Attack or Stroke
The numbers don't lie. Shocking statistics about how many Americans are dying were released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the latest stats, at least 200,000 Americans die needlessly each year due to preventable heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, and more than half of these deaths occur in people younger than age 65. In the United States, about 800,000 people die of cardiovascular disease each year, according to the study. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death, and stroke is No. 4; along with hypertensive disease, they account for nearly 30% of all U.S. deaths, the CDC says.
All of these premature deaths could be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, according to the physicians in the study. So, what are some steps you can take to avoid becoming a statistic?
- Exercise - the key to maintaining a healthy weight is to keep moving. Start an exercise program by simply taking a walk for 30 minutes every day, and move up from that to a one-hour cardio workout at your local gym. Not only will this keep the pounds off, but it will also ensure you keep your heart healthy.
Watch Your Diet - Some of the states with the highest rate of death were in the South, where fried foods are popular. Make sure to watch your diet for high sodium and high fat. These are known to be culprits for clogging up arteries that can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Instead, focus on leafy greens, protein and lean meats.
- Quit Smoking - Smoking is known to be bad for more reasons than one can count. It turns out it is also bad for people's heart health. Quit the bad habit and prolong your years with your family.
- Control Your Blood Pressure - Blood pressure can lead to a number of health issues, but the most critical one is your heart health. Make sure your blood pressure maintains a normal reading in order to dodge a heart-attack bullet.
- Check Your Cholesterol Often - Like high blood pressure, cholesterol can lead to a number of problems. Make sure to stay under the overall 200 mark and check with your doctor about your options if it goes past that number.
By keeping an eye on these risk factors, you will save yourself from a trip to the E.R. and also stay off the CDC's list. Talk to your doctor for additional information.
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