People at high risk for heart failure, such as those with diabetes or coronary artery disease, can lessen their risk with exercise, a healthy diet, ongoing medical care, and avoidance of smoking and alcohol, explains the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Weight loss is also beneficial in overweight individuals.
Physical activity helps prevent heart failure in both those with healthy hearts and those at high risk, although high-risk individuals should consult with their doctors about safe levels and types of exercise for them, according to the NHLBI. As little as one hour of aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity is beneficial, and higher levels of activity produce further heart-health benefits.
A healthy diet for preventing heart failure incorporates an array of vegetables and fruits and is low in salt, refined grains and added sugars, advises the NHLBI. Protein sources, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods also make healthy inclusions in a preventative diet.
In addition to refraining from smoking, it is also important for those who wish to minimize their chances of heart failure to avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible, notes the NHLBI. Avoiding the consumption of illegal drugs is another important aspect of a heart-healthy lifestyle.