Q:

How can you help prevent a heart attack?

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Quick Answer

Steps people can take to reduce their risk of having heart attacks include refraining from smoking and being around smoke, keeping cholesterol within normal ranges, reducing stress, controlling diabetes, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight. Regardless of whether people have already had heart attacks, making simple lifestyle changes greatly reduces the risk of having future heart attacks. While patients may perform many preventative measures at home, experts encourage scheduling routine physicals with physicians, who screen for underlying heart attack triggers that may not present symptoms, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

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How can you help prevent a heart attack?
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Full Answer

Quitting smoking and avoiding smoke exposure ranks among the most important heart attack prevention steps, as smoke greatly affects heart health, states Mayo Clinic. Managing blood pressure and cholesterol also helps . Patients accomplish this through diet, medications and visiting treating physicians for monitoring.

Keeping a regular exercise regimen helps hearts recover following a heart attack, and may reduce risk of future heart attacks. Exercise need not be strenuous, and 30 minutes daily, 5 days a week, suffices. Shedding excess weight reduces heart attack risk, as carrying excess weight stresses the heart.

Consuming healthy foods improves heart health . This includes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry and seafood. Avoid trans and saturated fats, which can clog arteries and reduce heart function. Those who enjoy alcohol should do so in moderation: one drink daily for women and men age 65 and older, and two drinks daily for men 65 and younger.

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