You Can Do It!
Start reducing your risk today by making healthy lifestyle changes:
- Quit smoking and avoid other people's tobacco smoke.
- Exercise 30 minutes most or all days of the week
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all.
- Learn to relax and deal with situations you find stressful in a healthy manner.
- Do not use illegal drugs.
Drinking too much alcohol raises blood pressure, can cause heart failure and contributes to obesity. One drink is defined as one and one-half fluid ounces of 80-proof spirits, one fluid ounce of 100-proof spirits, four fluid ounces of wine or twelve fluid ounces of beer.
Intravenous drug abuse leads to an increased risk of endocarditis (infection of the heart's lining or valves) and stroke. Cocaine use is linked to an increased risk of fatal heart attack even in first-time users.
Know your numbers. Maintain a:
- Healthy weight.
- HDL cholesterol level 40 mg/dL or greater for men and 50 mg/dL or higher for women.
- LDL cholesterol level less than 100 mg/dL if other risk factors are present and less than 130 mg/dL if no other risk factors are present.
- Triglyceride level less than 150 mg/dL.
- Blood pressure less than 130/80 mm/Hg.
- Fasting plasma glucose level less than 100 mg/dL.
Involve your family, friends and co-workers in making healthy lifestyle changes:
- Turn off the TV and do something active.
- Use the nonsmoking section of public places.
- Encourage others to become aware of their risk factors and help them to reduce their risk.
- Ask your workplace to be smoke-free and offer healthy food choices.