It’s really up to each of us to lower our risk of CVD. Make a commitment to the steps outlined below from the World Heart Federation and keep track of your progress. Your heart will thank you!
Make 30 minutes of exercise a day a regular part of your life. Use the stairs instead of the lift, get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Being active is also a great way to relieve stress and control your weight -- both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Stop smoking and protect yourself from tobacco
If you stop smoking, your risk of coronary heart disease will be halved within a year and will return to a normal level over time. Avoid smoke-filled environments: exposure to second-hand smoke significantly increases the risk of heart attack.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, a variety of whole grain products, lean meat, fish, peas, beans, lentils, and foods low in saturated fats. Be wary of processed foods, which often contain high levels of salt. Try to avoid drinking alcohol or if you do drink, make sure it is in moderation. Drink lots of water!
Maintain a healthy weight
Keeping a healthy weight and limiting your salt intake will help to control your blood pressure and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. To calculate your BMI (Body-Mass Index), divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height squared (in meters). A healthy adult should keep his or her BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 kg/m^2.
Know your numbers
Have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels checked regularly. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major factor for approximately half of all heart attacks.
Learn the warning signs
Memorize the warning signs of heart attack and stroke. Get certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation(CPR) from your local organization – you might be able to save a life.
Take your medications
Take the medications your doctor prescribes and make sure you stick to your regiment.
source: World Heart Federation