1. Become smoke-free. After one year of being smoke-free, your chance of dying from smoking-related heart disease is cut in half! After 15 years your risk will be nearly that of someone who has never smoked.
2. Be physically active. People who don't get enough physical activity are at a much higher risk for stroke. Try to be active for at least 30 minutes every day.
3. Moderate your alcohol intake. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 standard drinks per day, to a weekly maximum of 9 for woman, and 14 for men.
4. Take the time to relax. Stress can raise blood pressure, placing more demand on your heart.
5. Maintain a healthy weight. Even a modest loss of 5 to 10 pounds can make a huge difference, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
6. Don't let winter freeze out your workouts. Make an effort to be physically active in the winter because this is when activity levels tend to decline.
8. Know the warning signs of stroke. Recognizing and responding immediately to the warning signs of stroke significantly impacts survival and recovery.
Weakness: Sudden Loss of strength or sudden numbness in the face, arm or leg, even if temporary
Trouble Speaking: Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding or sudden confusion, even if temporary
Vision Problems: Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary
Headache: Sudden severe and unusual headache
Dizziness: Sudden loss of balance, especially with any of the above signs
9. High blood cholesterol can narrow arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Modifications to your diet and/or medication can help reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels. Talk to you health professional to determine how you can reduce your cholesterol.
10. Visit www.heartandstroke.ca for delicious recipes, tips to get active, free newsletter, heart disease and stroke patient information and breaking news on Foundation-funded research.
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