Knowing the early signs of a heart attack or stroke can change your life. Literally.
Ischemic heart disease is a condition wherein narrowed arteries cause less blood oxygen to be delivered to the heart. Also known as coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease, ischemia (restriction of blood flow) to the heart can lead to a heart attack.
A stroke occurs when blood oxygen is cut off to one or various parts of the brain. Cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. This results in the loss of function controlled by the area(s) of the brain affected. Over 6 million people die of stroke every year, and an addition 5 million are permanently disabled.
Either condition can be caused by genetic predispositions and/or lifestyle choices. The former is an uncontrollable variable; the latter isn’t. In this article, we discuss eight healthy habits that lower the risk of both heart attack and stroke. Even small changes can disproportionately tilt the odds in your favor.
Let’s get to it!
Here are 8 healthy habits that can prevent a heart attack or stroke:
1. Get 30 minutes of exercise every day
A half-hour of moderate exercise five days per week lowers the risk of heart attack. Going for a brisk walk, jogging, swimming, or calisthenics are all healthy choices. On the remaining two days, get in a light session of strength training.
The 30 minutes allocated to exercise can be done in one go or split up. If possible, try to get 10-15 minutes for each session to keep your heart rate up.
2. Don’t smoke
Did you predict this would be the next one? Good job, smarty!
If you want to transform your body, it is easier than you think. So whether you need to lose weight or you only want to tone your body, these healthy habits will help.
On a serious note, smoking increases the risk of heart disease and stroke by 200-400 percent. Of course, that depends on both frequency (of smoking) and genetics. Secondhand smoke isn’t a victimless act, either.
People regularly exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work have a 25-30 percent higher chance of developing heart disease, and a 20-30 percent higher chance of having a stroke. Some states have realized the dangers of secondhand smoke and outlawed smoking in enclosed public areas.