Heart attack: Five tips to reduce your risk of the life-threatening condition

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As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure – what’s the leading cause of a heart attack? The answer is cardiovascular disease. To help stop the development of this condition, what can you do? There are five key pieces of information shared by the NHS as to what you can do to limit your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.


The first key consideration is the foods you choose to eat on a daily basis – are they helping or hindering your health?

Emphasise this mantra in your mind: a low-fat, high-fibre diet, full of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains is the best.

Aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day – start your day by eating right, and the rest will be easier to follow.

To illustrate, eating oatmeal porridge (which is whole grain) with banana, blueberries and strawberries ticks off three of your five-a-day portions.

By lunchtime, if you made yourself a tuna, cucumber and tomatoes sandwich, (for example) you’d have already hit your five-a-day target – any extra fruit and vegetables are bonuses that will only help protect your heart.

Physical activity

Exercising for at least 150 minutes per week will help keep you in shape and your health in high regard.

Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce your chances of developing health problems that could lead to cardiovascular disease.

For example, by keeping fit you’ll mostly be able to lower your blood pressure.

A healthy blood pressure range between 90/60mmHg to 120/80mmHg will put less pressure on your heart muscle.

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Exercising regularly also helps to lower cholesterol levels and keeps the heart and blood circulatory system working more efficiently.

The NHS said: “Exercising regularly reduces your risk of having a heart attack.

“The heart is a muscle and, like any other muscle, benefits from exercise.

A strong heart can pump more blood around your body with less effort.”

Don’t smoke

If you ever smoked, the best thing you can do for your health is to never take a puff ever again.

Smoking is a major risk factor for developing atherosclerosis, which is when the arteries become furred with fatty deposits.

If there is less space for blood to travel through in the arteries, blood pressure increases and if the arteries become fully blocked, a heart attack can occur.

Drink sensibly

If you choose to drink alcohol, you are advised by national health guidelines not to drink more than 14 units per week.

Additional advice adds that drinking should be spread over a few days, instead of having all your alcoholic beverages on one day.

“Always avoid binge drinking, as this increases the risk of a heart attack,” said the NHS.

Manage pre-existing health conditions

Do take any prescribed medication you may have for other pre-existing health conditions.

It’s important to manage any other conditions you may have, such as diabetes, if you’d like to reduce your risk of a heart attack.

This includes following the above tips to help yourself in any way you can.

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