Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. But there are many things you can do to greatly reduce your risk:
• Regular physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress and improve your
overall health. Just 30 minutes a day makes a difference. Go for a walk, take the stairs
instead of the elevator, ride a bike or play ball with your kids.
Dump the cigarettes
• Smokers are twice as likely to die from a heart attack compared with non-smokers.
If you quit right now, your body can repair much of the damage from cigarettes within
a year. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about trying a nicotine gum,
patch or lozenge to reduce cravings. Medications can help, too. Then quit with
the support of a friend, family member or smoking-cessation group.
• Eating foods high in salt, sugar and fat can contribute to high cholesterol, high blood
pressure and obesity. Foods high in fiber, like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables,
help lower the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood.