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9 tips to prevent heart attacks or strokes

Cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes (CVA) are very frequent. Surely you know one or more people who have suffered or even died for any of them. The interesting thing is that most of these events can be prevented. Find out what you can do yourself to protect your heart.

The best way to prevent cardiovascular problems is to understand what causes them. And it is important to be informed because cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, 17.5 million people died due to them in 2012. This represents 31% of all causes of death. Of these, 7.4 million were caused by disease in the coronary arteries (the arteries of the heart) and 6.7 million were due to strokes (stroke, stroke or stroke). The good news is that most cardiovascular diseases can be prevented, so there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of suffering from them. Obviously the first step is to have the correct information and act responsibly in relation to your health.

Of course, there are certain factors that can increase our risk of diseases such as heart attacks or strokes that are not in our hands, I mean genetics. If we have the genetic predisposition (that is, through the genes) of suffering from cardiovascular problems, we can diminish the possibilities with our actions, but not avoid them altogether. On the other hand, our lifestyle depends on us and that can significantly influence if we develop a heart attack (a heart attack) and / or a stroke or not. What do I mean? What we eat, if we exercise, if we smoke or not, if we maintain a healthy weight, if we drink alcohol excessively or not, if we control our stress levels, blood pressure, sugar and blood cholesterol, etc. . etc.

What can you do to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular problems?
Here I give you 9 concrete things that you can do yourself or yourself to protect yourself from heart attacks and strokes:

1. Stay informed
And I do not just mean the novelties of science. This starts with the information in your family. So that you know your risk of developing cardiovascular disease it is important that you know who in your family has had heart attacks, strokes or strokes and at what age. Or, if they had a coronary angioplasty procedure with “stents” or bypass (bypass) to prevent a heart attack. As well as who has had high blood pressure, diabetes and / or high cholesterol.

2. Avoid smoking and if you smoke, try to stop smoking
Tobacco is not only a risk factor for cancer. It is also closely linked to heart attacks and strokes. Avoid tobacco in all its forms. It is not healthy. Also, try to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.

3. Try to have a healthy diet
Select fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, limit saturated and trans fats (select healthy fats such as olive, canola, nuts, seeds and avocados or avocados); choose fatty fish with a high content of omega 3 acids), lean meats, chicken and defatted or low-fat dairy products. And do not forget to eat legumes such as beans or beans and limit the amount of salt.

4. Try to maintain a healthy weight
Limit the size of your portions. Obesity contributes not only to heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases but to other chronic problems such as diabetes, arthritis, sleep apnea and depression. And remember that physical activity helps you achieve this goal.

5. Try to stay active
Try to incorporate exercise into your daily life. If you do something that pleases you, it’s easier for you to do it regularly. Simply walking 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) a day could be enough to avoid heart attacks, and you do not have to walk the 2 miles at a time. Of course it is better if you can do at least 30 minutes to 60 minutes of exercise most days.

6. Check your blood pressure
If it is elevated, be sure to control hypertension (high blood pressure). Take a low-salt diet and take the medications prescribed by your doctor. High blood pressure may not cause symptoms and it is important to measure it to determine if it is high and to know if it is under control.

7. Check your blood sugar level
Whether you have prediabetes or diabetes, both increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. If your diabetes is not controlled and your A1C is above 7, your risk of developing cardiovascular complications increases. Many people do not have symptoms when their sugar level is high. It is very important to check yourself at home as directed by your doctor and attend your visits with him or her regularly. But, if you do not know your blood sugar levels and you are 45 years old or older or, at any age, if you have the typical symptoms of diabetes (much thirst, increase in the frequency with which you go to the bathroom to urinate, very hungry and fatigue) it is important that you check the level of A1C or fasting sugar.

8. Check your blood cholesterol level
As in the case of hypertension typically does not give symptoms, however, when it is high it can be deposited inside the arteries forming plaques that can cover them or, a piece of that plaque can come off and can reach clog a smaller artery (a glass) preventing blood from flowing and causing heart attacks or strokes. When talking about prevention, if cholesterol is high, there are drugs that lower their level to prevent the formation of plaques or, if there are plaques to remove them.

9. Try to reduce stress
Stress contributes to cardiovascular diseases. It causes that some hormones are released that cause that we are in alert conditions, that the heart is accelerated, in short. This is especially true if the stress is chronic. We all have a certain amount of stress in daily life, but there are things we can do to reduce stress such as exercising, doing yoga, trying to get enough sleep, spending time with family (obviously if you have a good relationship with your family), having good friends with whom we have fun and laugh, learn to meditate. If you can, try to avoid people and situations that cause you stress.

Heart attacks or strokes are late warning signs. The diagnosis of cardiovascular disease scares anyone. As I always say “prevent is better than remedy” There are so simple things we can do to help keep our hearts healthy! If you do not know your family history be sure to ask your parents and grandparents today not only about the cardiovascular history, but about other diseases and write them down. It is important that you share them with your doctor or health provider.

As for your heart, pay attention to the points mentioned. Your lifestyle today has an impact on your health today and in the future. Start investing in you. Improve your lifestyle and, if you have not checked your blood pressure, sugar and blood cholesterol, ask your doctor if you should do it and how often you should do it. This depends on your age and your family history. Of course, we are talking about prevention because it is different when someone has symptoms.

Do not wait any longer, consult your doctor and take these simple measures to protect your heart and your health in general.

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