test-World Heart Day This Thursday, September 29th
World Heart Day This Thursday, September 29th
Cassandra B. • September 26, 2011

Cardiovascular diseases kill 17.3 million people per year. Eighty percent of premature heart attacks and strokes are preventable, and the keys are simple: healthy diet, regular physical activity and no tobacco products.

Healthy Diet:
Eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruit, restrict your sodium, sugar and fats, and stick to whole grains, lean meats, fish and legumes. Try slowly incorporating healthy foods into your diet—substitute lean meat for red meat, add fish or legumes to your salad, or make your own lunch instead of buying processed food, which has tons of added salts, sugars and fats.

To maintain (not necessarily improve) cardiovascular health, at least 30 minutes every day should do the trick. To maintain a healthy weight, at least 60 minutes on most days is necessary. Take the kids for a bike ride, call up a friend to go for a walk or even start parking at the end of parking lots when running errands to get a few more steps in.

Cut tobacco use:
Using tobacco products and simply being around tobacco products are both dangerous to your health. Heart disease risks drop after just one day of not using tobacco products, and the risk can drop by 50% after one year of not using.

In addition, make sure you know your blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipid levels. Unhealthy levels can lead to heart attack or strokes.

Source: WHO and the World Heart Federation